2014One of the most anticipated fashion designer competitions in the country, Zainab Ammarah’s  ‘Sri Lanka’s Up and Coming Fashion Designer of the Year 2015’ will take stage for the seventh consecutive time this year. Kamsins, has come forward as the main sponsor for this year’s event, demonstrating the brand’s commitment to the development of the local fashion and clothing industry.  Jewel Arena will co-sponsor the event and is the official Jewelry sponsor adding more glitter and glamour this year The entries close on the 22nd October and the organizing committee invites all aspiring fashion designers to send in their entries under the Evening and Sports Wear Categories in order to be selected for the Quarter finals stage which will take place on the 25th of October.

The competition, which is being held for the seventh consecutive year, is a brainchild of Zainab Ammarah and was designed as a platform for young aspiring designers to launch their career or brand to the Sri Lankan design industry. Other event partners include Official Jewellery Partner – Jewel Arena, Official Hair & Makeup Ramzi’s Hair and Beauty Salons, Official Venue Partner Waters Edge, Technology Partner Erbenlab, Official Photography partner Praveen Rodrigo, Official Print Partner Yaseen’s Computerized Graphic and with PR Wire supporting the event as the Official PR Partner.

The award for Sri Lanka’s Up and Coming Fashion Designer of the Year and the corresponding fashion show has evolved over the years to one that is anticipated and trusted among local designers. Interest in the event has only kept growing, with participation from around the country including urban and rural areas as well as leading design schools and universities.

Winners this year will avail themselves to a ticket to Paris by Timex Garments, an Internship from Hidramani Group Rs. 300,000 worth phone App and a Rs. 200,000 worth e-commerce based website designed and developed by Erbenlab, Rs. 200,000 worth contracts to create a fashion portfolio by Praveen Rodrigo and Ramzi’s Hair and Beauty Salons, Rs. 50,000 worth printing material for the winners brand by Yaseen’s Computerized Graphics. In addition to this PR Wire will be mentoring the winner and its brand to further extend their brand profile in a global platform and how it could look at entering the business world as a start-up, and a service offering of LKR 1,000,000.

Speaking about his experience, winner from the event last year Danushika Welagedara said, “I am a final year fashion student from the University of Moratuwa. By winning Zainab Ammarah’s up and coming fashion designer 2014 contest I was able to step in to a whole new wonderland of fashion. The trip to Europe enlightened my fashion sense. And the contest gave me a job opportunity I am studying. Due to the popularity I gained through the show I am able to do custom designing I am planning to launch my own brand soon”.

Commenting on the fashion show and awards, founder and organiser Zainab Ammarah said, “It is with joy that we unveil the seventh edition of one of the most anticipated events by an amateur designer. Once an aspiring designer myself, I realised Sri Lanka had a lot of latent talent which merely needed the opportunity to showcase their abilities, and it was the main reason for establishing the award for the country’s Up and Coming Designer of the Year. Since its inception, the initiative has impacted the lives of all the designers who have participated, creating a pathway for them to liaise with leading international buying houses and providing inspiration to create their own design labels.”

2Founder of Ayora, Ayodya Ratnayake winner of the 2011 event said, “Grabbing the title in 2011 was definitely the stepping stone to building my dreams in to a reality. The competition not only provided a myriad of opportunities but also a platform to explore my potentials and push boundaries in to expressing my individuality as a designer. I felt that the participation itself helped each and every one of us to benefit from the opportunity to challenge ourselves”.

Sri Lanka as a whole has immense potential in the world of fashion reiterated Ammarah. Her intention is to reach out to the rural areas in the country, spreading the message and creating the perfect opening to not only to all who dreams to reach high in the fashion industry but also for the individuals who desire to achieve their full potential.

Thilini Thathsarani Vidanagamage Winner of the 2012 competition had this to say, “Truly, it was a remarkable milestone in my life as fashion designer. As a reward of the competition I was able to visit and learn from world’s leading and most expensive fashion manufacturers in France. I also had the opportunity to get enrolled to an internship by Hidaramani Design Center, Sri Lanka. A remarkable collection of sporty casual wear was created by my self through the great experiences and finally I was fortunate to start my career in Mas Active Linea Intimo”.

The grand finale will take place on 30th November 2015 at Waters Edge. Further information on the competition can be found on the official event Facebook page at www.facebook.com/zainabammarah. Those who wish to send in their entries are requested to send their sketches under Men’s or Women’s Evening and Sports Wear Categories with their direct contact details to Ramzis Hair & Beauty Salons 65/7A, D.S. Senanayake Mawatha, Colombo 08 or contact 0755 217 217 for more details.