To create a global impact with the Sri Lankan fashion design industry is the key vision of Colombo Fashion Week, a developmental project that aims to bring about progressive change to every aspect of the fashion industry in Sri Lanka. A movement that started over ten years ago, Colombo Fashion Week gained much needed momentum at the end of the last decade and has, in a systematic manner, created formats that demand transformation across the key pillars that would define a fashion industry.
An efficient fashion eco-system that incubates the best of Sri Lankan fashion design before it is presented to the world is the mission that Colombo Fashion Week has given itself. It starts from designer development to fabric development and then includes retail programmes, a programme for international exposure, media development, intellectual properties, craft development, and a Fashion Design Fund to create resources. Every aspect that contributes to what is known as a progressive fashion industry is carefully evaluated, so that every part plays a role like a well-oiled machine.
Colombo Fashion Week carries a mantle and a responsibility towards Sri Lanka's fashion design industry as its only voice and has come to be known as the backbone of the industry. This year, like in the past, Colombo Fashion Week strongly marches forward declaring its intention of breaking new ground for Sri Lanka's fashion design industry in the world of fashion.
It was Ajai's immense belief in Sri Lanka's fashion design that got him to start this journey 12 years ago; a vision that kept on unfolding with every passing year. Today this vision has a clear direction, and Ajai is hungrier to make an impact in the international market with Sri Lankan fashion design talent. Ten years ago, he coined the phrase ‘Garments Without Guilt’ for Sri Lanka's apparel industry. His passion for the fashion industry has seen him go beyond to look at opportunities with the National Craft Council.
Today Colombo Fashion Week is the backbone of Sri Lanka’s fashion design industry. It has not only grown in stature in Sri Lanka but is now seen as one of South Asia’s most important fashion weeks and its most ‘international’ one. As Ajai would like to say, "God is good. He gives you the desires of your heart." CFW, as it is popularly known, is a developmental project that has firmly put Sri Lankan fashion on a strong footing.
Prasad Bidapa’s love for Sri Lanka is translated in his commitment and dedication to bring alive shows with Ajai’s vision and strategise with the management to reach new heights. His experience and work in India’s fashion industry for the last 30 years is a resource which has no parallel. He is one of the icons of India’s fashion design industry and one of its most knowledgeable individuals.
Dirk Flamer-Caldera, a businessman by training and profession is the founder of several listed and private companies in Sri Lanka, such as Asia Capital Limited, Asian Alliance Insurance Company Limited, Connaisance De Ceylan Limited, Visit Lanka Private Limited. As the Chairman of CFW Holdings Private Limited, the holding company of Colombo Fashion Week, Dirk brings a wealth of business acumen that is required to run an event of this magnitude. Dirk’s knowledge of the fashion industry also serves the company well as he has been involved in fashion retail in the USA, and built and operated garment factories in Sri Lanka.