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Olu Swim Week Colombo: Luxury resortwear edit

It’s that time of the year again; Colombo Fashion Week will be presenting Olu Swim Week, with a special focus on luxury resortwear, on 12 and 13 November at Shangri-La.

This season is CFW’s 18th year since inception, and this particular show is the second one within this environment. CFW remains committed to mentoring, fine-tuning, and uplifting with a key focus on sustainable aspects, especially circularity.

Shangri-La Group Vice President Operations – Sri Lanka Timothy Wright shared at a press conference that as Sri Lanka gradually opens up to the world again, they are enthusiastic that CFW luxury resortwear is using this rich platform to showcase the work of our talented designers for destination weddings.

From left: Ramini Fernando Salons Director/CEO Ramini Fernando, Hameedia Group Managing Director Fouzal Hameed, NTB PLC CMO Sanjaya Senarath, Olu Tropical Waters Group Managing Director Amal Wijerathne, CFW Founder/Managing Director Ajai Vir Singh, Shangri-La Group Vice President Operations – Sri Lanka Timothy Wright, Olu Tropical Waters General Manager Marketing Shalindri Malawana, and Vision Care General Manager Sales and Marketing Harsha Maduranga

At Swim Week 2021, Sri Lankan designers Darshi Keerthisena, Charini Suriyage, Fouzul Hameed, Indi Yapa Abeywardena, Aslam Hussain, and Dinushi Pamunuwa, will showcase their work, along with a few others.

This edition of Olu Swim Week will focus on luxury resortwear, with emphasis on the festive season of December and destination weddings. The current “new normal” presents an interesting scenario for fashion designers, where aspects of sustainability play an important role, alongside providing the design solution a fashion consumer expects.

The “new normal” certainly has challenges, but it also presents new opportunities, and this Swim Week aims to bring a shift in the mindset and responsible positivity into society. Commenting on this topic at the press conference held for Swim Week, CFW Founder and Managing Director Ajai Vir Singh said: “These are interesting and challenging times for any industry, especially so for fashion and apparel when most of the design focus was on occasion wear. Lockdowns robbed that focus, hence a lot of adjusting had to be done.”

CFW Founder and Managing Director Ajai Vir Singh

Throughout the years, Vir Singh informed us that CFW has remained single-minded about promoting and expanding the fashion design industry of Sri Lanka while anchoring on sustainable practices which keeps evolving, explaining that close to 85% of designers in Sri Lanka have come through the CFW design system.

This year, CFW will present a uniquely formatted Swim Week edition, with an interesting setting and presentations. The week of 8 November will also see the 6th edition of the Responsible Fashion Summit (RFS) presented by JAAF Sri Lanka Apparel at the Shangri-La. Talking more about this, Vir Singh explained: “It’s a single-day hybrid thought leadership forum that brings together international and local apparel leaders and experts for discussion,” adding that in 2020, the Responsible Fashion Movement worked with CFW to create a garment evaluation tool called Responsible Metre, where every garment presented had a responsible score.

He further observed that over the last year or so, fashion took a massive hit, as it is an SME industry in the region and the ecosystem it supports also faced negative impact. “With this edition of Swim Week, the team at CFW also aims to uplift and revive this creative industry and its ecosystem,” Vir Singh stated, adding that designers have to study the new environment to create new design solutions in the “new normal”.

The title partner for the event will be Olu tropical water. Commenting at the press conference, Liquid Island (Pvt.) Ltd. General Manager Shalindri Malawana said: “Being a part of the CFW journey for six years now, is a testament to how well brands that think alike and have common goals can work together to drive positive change,” adding that over the years, CFW and Olu have grown together while striving towards achieving true circularity in their respective industries.

Nations Trust Bank (NTB) is CFW’s official banking partner. “With the economy reopening from several lockdowns and the community adjusting to the new age of living, NTB American Express is gratified to announce another year of partnership with the coveted Swim Week, focused on uplifting the local fashion landscape. This year, in particular to support businesses and the economy to revive through post-pandemic challenges. We hope that this event will help strengthen sustainable development in the local fashion industry, boost the dynamic route of local designers and thereby, open new opportunities for Sri Lanka as a progressive fashion destination,” stated NTB CEO/Director Priyantha Talwatte.

Ramani Fernando will be the Official Hair and Make-Up Partner for CFW this year as well, along with Vision Care, who will be the Official Eyewear Partner and has been so for the last five years.

CFW, a developmental platform started in 2003, in a systematic manner, created formats that demand transformation across the key pillars that would define a fashion industry. CFW’s mission is to establish, develop and maintain an efficient fashion eco-system that incubates the best of Sri Lankan fashion design. This year, in accordance with the current restrictions, the show will be a hybrid event with both days being telecasted live and a limited number of guests attending.