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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Colombo Fashion Week announces CFW ‘Fashion Design Fund’

CFW Fashion Design Fund Logo
CFW Fashion Design Fund Logo
In just over a decade, ColomboFashion Week (CFW) has established itself as the backbone of the local fashion design industry. In the run up to the Resort Wear show to be held in October, CFW announced the launch of CFW ‘Fashion Design Fund’ in an effort to develop and support up-and-coming fashion designers.  

Commenting on the launch of the CFW ‘Fashion Design Fund’, Ajai Vir Singh stated, “We are always looking for new ways to benefit the local fashion design industry, and we are proud to say that every year we add more value to the local industry. CFW Resort Wear will now go one step further with the CFW ‘Fashion Design Fund’. The fund is to be awarded to the ‘Bright Spark’ designer whose collection is deemed most worthy of support and the money will be used towards the funding of the development of their collection at the Resort Wear show to be held in Negombo.” 

Ajai Vir Singh
Ajai Vir Singh
The HSBC CFW ‘Bright Spark’ shows hosted in February this year featured nine talented young graduates from the University of Moratuwa, Raffles Design Institute Colombo, the Academy of Design and LIFT. The aspiring designers were given a unique opportunity to showcase their work during the ‘Bright Spark’ shows that preceded the main Fashion Week shows. CFW ‘Bright Spark’ not only provided an opportunity for young designers to show off their creations but also gave them an intense first hand introduction to the world of fashion, and an invaluable, completely immersive learning experience that included insights on trends and finesse, as well as feedback on ways in which they could improve or add value to their design processes.  

Commenting on his experience. Heshan De Silva a ‘Bright Spark’ designer who showcased his work at CFW 2014 stated, “Being selected for the ‘Bright Spark’ category in CFW was one of the best experiences that I had in my life. The last couple of years I’ve being working hard to establish my brand label. Showcasing at CFW gave my brand the exposure it needed as a starter both locally and internationally. One of the opportunities I got post CFW was to showcase my collection at RMIT University pop-up store.”

Heshan went on to say, “As an up-and-coming designer there are many hurdles I had to overcome, one is to make my label unique and stand out from other fashion brands. It is very important that as a designer you build your portfolio and work within the industry before you venture out on your own. Participating in ‘Bright Sparks’ gives you the opportunity to understand the requirements of being a designer and it allows you to network with the correct people and show them how you are different while keeping up with current fashion trends.”

Also sharing his experience, Singh stated, “Getting the necessary financial backing is one of the toughest challenges young designers face when trying to break into the market.   Those who win a place in our ‘Bright Sparks’ category, get to feature their work as a prelude to the main CFW show. . The young designers also receive intensive mentoring from the CFW team. One of these young designers will have the opportunity to gain the necessary funding to spend on developing his or her collection. It’s a fantastic chance for someone to just let their creativity flow without having to be restricted by financial considerations or constraints.”

Those wishing to apply for the CFW ‘Bright Sparks’ shows can now email to gain entry. Entries will be judged on creative ability and potential for growth. A total of ten will be selected to go through the mentoring programme and showcase their work at CFW Resort Wear. One of those selected will be awarded the CFW ‘Fashion Design Fund’. All of those selected for the ‘Bright Spark’ category are automatically in the running to receive the funding. The only stipulated criterion is that all entrants must be recent graduates of a local design college or university.

In addition to showcasing the best of Sri Lankan fashion, CFW has stayed true to its vision of developing and uplifting the industry as a whole through its year round developmental activities which increase in scope and effect on an annual basis. Furthermore in addition to the creation of the line, the clothes that will be showcased at the CFW show, will be retailed at CFW Curates as well as Cotton Collection. The CFW ‘Fashion Design Fund’ offers one lucky designer a complete solution and a real chance to make his or her mark in the local industry.   

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