The Colombo Fashion Week is one of the most exotic events spearheaded by PBA since the year 2003, expanding the boundaries of the fashion industry by launching new creative initiatives along with other initiatives, keeping in line with its vision that aims to develop and showcase Sri Lanka’s fashion design industry to the world and to the fashion consumers of Sri Lanka.
CFW contributed immensely to the growth and expansion of the Sri Lankan fashion industry by providing local designers with a solid platform and international exposure while contributing to a multitude of facets that makes up the industry including fashion education, fashion retail and designer development. CFW brings the city of Colombo alive through the eyes of fashion and related industries, under the theme ‘Celebrate Colombo’.
The event also aims to showcase Colombo as a hub of exotic tourism and as a city that is vibrant and creative. We understand the importance to collaborate with art, film, food and even music and also include knowledge workshops and promote ethical fashion. Every season, CFW partners with some of Colombo’s leading restaurants to create limited edition menus expected to give participants an unparalleled gastronomical adventure, exclusively during the fashion week.
More than 30 designers, both local and international have been showcased in the event. Some of the international designers include Bibi Russell, Eymeric Francois, Urvashi Kaur and Tarun Tahiliani. The Sri Lankan designers list features Darshi Keerthisena, Upeksha Hager, Charini Suriyage, Maus, Dimuthu Sahabandu, Conscience, Meraki, Sonali Dharmawardena, Fouzul Hameed, Jaishree, Amilani Perera, Catherine Rawson, Lovi Ceylon, Nilanka Silva, Aslam Hussein, Indeevari Yapa Abeyagunawardene and Gihan Ediriweera among others.
It has since been instrumental in launching the careers of over 90% of fashion designers you see today. Colombo Fashion Week has revived the fashion industry and now enjoys a momentum which has become a platform for the next generation of designers as well as for those who started their journey through it. Designer development has been the foundation of CFW since its inception, from an industry perspective, as it is instrumental in building the next generation of designers. The idea is for the period of one week, to share the momentum with all the other creative industries. We bring art on one day, music on another, film afterwards and then we bring in fashion. We then collectively celebrate Colombo as a creative center.
The week-long fashion event has an interesting mix of sub events as well to make it a much more wholesome experience for everyone taking part in it. The Emerging Designers Show will showcase the designs of a select number of outstanding, aspiring fashion designers chosen by an expert panel of judges. The designers are mentored by the CFW team to aid them in honing their skills and are guided through the creative process to produce each of their runway- ready collections for CFW. Similarly, Project 7 is a detailed designer development project that aims to strengthen the ideation process leading to a strong point-of-view development. Art Connect, an opening event for Colombo Fashion Week is an independently run art show organized and curated by Colombo Fashion Week. While Designer Pod is Colombo Fashion Week’s carefully constructed pop-up retail experience. Swim Week Colombo encompasses and expresses swimwear fashion in totality.
Colombo Fashion Week is one of three main fashion shows in Asia that have been running for over 10 years in continuous association with PBA and continues to inspire growth and innovation among Sri Lankan designers. In the past decade, HSBC Colombo Fashion Week’s influence has been holistic, be it development of Sri Lankan fashion design, retail network for local designers, commerce or promotion of the industry through a marketing platform, so much so it is known as the backbone of Sri Lanka’s fashion design industry.