Ajai V Singh, President and Founder of CFW launches the 13th edition of HSBC CFWAmid high expectations, dazzling talent and grandeur glamour, the 2016 edition of HSBC Colombo Fashion Week (CFW), will be showcased from 20 to 26 February 2016. Unveiling fashion trends for season 2017, in its 13th year, CFW has grown progressively in aspiring towards its goal of uplifting the Sri Lankan fashion industry, while proving to be an incubator of emerging talent that is rapidly gaining currency in the country’s retail sector. Fashion aficionados and industry professionals will be treated to a series of focused fashion events along with the main show which will highlight all aspects of the fashion industry and strengthen CFW’s reputation as a key driver of the fashion industry in Sri Lanka. The platform will present Sri Lankan and international designers who will storm the catwalk in 2016 and reveal the trends for the season.

CFW distinguishes itself as a development project led by the vision to take the fashion design industry of Sri Lanka to a new level using a multi-pronged approach, which includes interaction with international designers and exposure in international markets and international media development projects for designers. CFW has a focused development project to guide, mentor and lead both emerging and established designers. Since 2014 CFW has extended or given itself objectives to develop the fashion retail infrastructure to cultivate and grow the fashion retail industry in Sri Lanka. By staying true to its vision, CFW has become the backbone of the Sri Lankan fashion industry and one that is supporting and leading Sri Lankan designers to international platforms.

Speaking of this season, Ajai Vir Singh, President and Founder of CFW, stated: “I am delighted with the 2017 season of CFW. The modest beginnings we made 13 years ago has now blossomed into something significant. I am so excited, encouraged and inspired when I see the increasing number of young designers who come forward every year with a dream to start their career in fashion using CFW as their platform. I am grateful to our partners for recognizing the authenticity and commitment of CFW to engendering a self-sustainable infrastructure for fashion designers in Sri Lanka. CFW remains singular in its approach and innovative in its strategy in meeting its objectives and vision.”

The international design segment will be headlined star designers namely: Milan Fashion Week’s, Gaetano Navarra, Delhi based Samant Chauhan, Sri Lankan-born Mevan Kaluarachi, and the renowned and long-standing supporter of CFW, Bibi Russel, who rose to stardom in the late 70s and early 80s.

“As the title sponsor of the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week for nine consecutive years, we are delighted to have witnessed the remarkable evolution of CFW. We see HSBC CFW as a platform that creates market and growth opportunities for a host of talented individuals and some unique businesses, while establishing networking corridors, connecting them to the thriving international fashion and textile industry. We are also delighted to offer HSBC Premier Customers the opportunity to experience the world of high fashion with this exclusive show,” said Patrick Gallagher, CEO of HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Commenting on the event, Manesh Fernando, General Manager, Hilton Colombo stated: “Hilton Colombo is privileged and honoured to once again partner in this prestigious event looked forward to in the calendar year. We are also privileged to be the host hotel for the international designers and wish the event every success.”

In keeping with its spirit, CFW 2016 hosts a series of events during the week. One of the highlights being a photography CFW Workshop by Rid Burman on the 25th February at 9:30 am Hilton Colombo, a graduate from the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography, who has worked with renowned international names such as Steven Klein and Mark Seliger in New York and Los Angeles. Guests may also immerse themselves in art and culture at CFW Frame, which takes place at the Land Rover showroom, on 22nd Feb where special art collectives and art launches will take place. Fashion and Food returns with an exciting concept of using Park Street Mews as its base for the week, kick starting from 20th February. The renowned Il-Ponte restaurant at Hilton Colombo will also create sensational special menus with the new Italian Chef in house, and IKO TAE, the new delectable Japanese restaurant at Dutch hospital will also deliver a menu tailored for the week.

Conceptualized in 2014, the CFW Fashion Design Fund financially supports the most impressive young designer who is a participant of the ‘Emerging Designer’ shows. Each year one up-and-coming designer with high potential is selected and given funding for their collection along with guidance on how to kick-start his/her fashion career. This year over ten designers will be showcased at the CFW Emerging Designer Showcase 2017.

HSBC CFW 2016 is enriched by its partners: HSBC, Hilton, Land Rover, Colombo Jewelry Stores, Wineworld, Olu Water, Vision Care, Unilever – Ponds BB, Ramani Fernando Salons, Spa Ceylon, Illy Coffee, Wijeya Group and Hameedia – who share and extend their support towards the vision and aspirations of CFW.

Colombo Fashion Week is one of four main Fashion Weeks in Asia that are over ten years old and, as a developmental project, is constantly creating innovative runway and retail opportunities for Sri Lankan designers to gain exposure into the global fashion arena and growth within the Sri Lankan fashion industry, CFW has propelled the careers of some of Sri Lanka’s most successful fashion designers. It is considered the most recognized fashion platform in Sri Lanka and one of the most respected in the region.

For more information on CFW Spring Summer 2017, including designers and schedules, visit the official Colombo Fashion Week website (www.colombofashionweek.com). For the latest updates on runway shows, Fashion+Food, AfterParties, Workshops and behind-the-scenes activities, follow CFW on Facebook (www.facebook.com/colombofashionweek), Twitter (@colombofw) and Instagram (@colombofw)