Lazy elegance meets modern contemporary: Samaadhi Weerasinghe on her brand ANUK
ANUK is a ready-to-wear contemporary brand that uses the finest fabrics to create simple silhouettes. Founded in Sri Lanka with the idea of lazy elegance, they offer reinvented designs that are clean-cut and effortless. They aim to create timeless pieces that push beyond each season. All of their designs merge modern comfort, contemporary style, and island life into a unique selection of pieces.
The brains behind ANUK, Samaadhi Weerasinghe, is a talented designer with an eye for fashion. Although she never studied fashion, she has always had the impressive ability to create stunning collections throughout her years in the industry. She has been surrounded by textiles her whole life as her father works in the industry. She used to get clothes made for herself, and even though she pursued a degree in economics, she was drawn to the idea of design.
Here’s her take on her brand, the industry, and more.
What inspired you to start up your brand?
When I came back from university, I saw a gap in the market for a niche high-quality brand. I had some money saved up from working part-time in university, and I thought it might be a good opportunity to invest in something I’ve always been interested in.
When did you discover your passion for fashion?
Growing up, there were very limited clothing stores in Sri Lanka. I used to go through magazines (mostly entertainment mags) and look at all the outfits featured. I would do a spin on them and get them made. I always enjoyed going to the markets (local and foreign) with my mum and sifting through different fabrics, and then seeing the end product – it was always so exciting.
Where do you derive inspiration for your products?
I always start with fabrics. In general, everything from seeing a simple flower while walking down the road to seeing how a fabric gets draped; my surroundings are an inspiration for my designs.
Our island is full of colour and natural light; it feels like a playground. Also, I’m surrounded by very different, strong, individualistic women who inspire me every day.
Do you believe in sustainability?
Yes! It’s so important. Fashion is a glamorous industry, but it is also a highly polluting industry and has a detrimental impact on the environment that many don’t understand. I’m hoping that my brand values will make people understand why I’m keeping it small and producing the styles I do.
By working one on one with pattern-makers and dying mills to ensure all levels of the brand are operating sustainably, ANUK adheres to a zero-waste policy.
What is the process behind making your products?
I choose my fabrics, and then create a moodboard for inspiration and to help me decide on the colour schemes. Next, I move onto sketching, pattern-making, sample-making, and then it goes into bulk production.
What makes your brand unique?
I don’t think it is unique. ANUK is a small brand that sells a limited number of pieces made with a variety of high-quality, eco-friendly, and natural raw materials.
I think it’s what’s needed in this climate. Sri Lanka is a tropical country with high humidity levels. Our clothes need to be comfortable. I’d like my designs to be able to transition from workwear to partywear and then to beachwear during the weekend.
Do you think this third wave of Covid will affect your business?
I’m hoping it won’t. The local community has really come out and supported the niche brands during this time and I’m ever so grateful.
Do you have any plans for the future?
My expansion plans had to be put on hold because of Covid. I’m hoping to resume when everything settles down.
You can shop her collection at PR in Colombo 7 and Rue Saint Paul in Brooklyn, US.