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Sri Lanka mall teams up with fashion and finance to revive retail sector

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s Colombo Fashion Week in collaboration with One Galle Face, HSBC and high-end retail brands are launching a three-week long retail event in a bid to revive a retail industry that is overcoming the effects of Coronavirus, officials said.

“Since the recent inception of the One Galle Face Mall, we felt that this was the right opportunity to see how we could develop and create events that involved both retail and lifestyle components,” Timothy Wright, Vice President and General Manager of Shangri-La Hotel Colombo said.

“We wanted to make the shopping experience more than just coming in to buy something.”

The three-week long program will take off on 11 Sep and end on 04 Oct running weekly themes such as Fashion and Wellness, Environment and Conservation and Literature.

The month-long program is a knowledge and engagement-based retail experience including experiences, movie screenings, junior chef program, art workshop for kids, and special events like wine tasting and food demonstrations, organizers said.

The event is backed by HSBC Premier Cards.

“There is confidence among retailers as you see new retail outlets being opened up in One Galle Face mall itself,” Wright said.

“There is still a long way to go in order to reach pre-Covid levels despite seeing some positivity.”

Colombo Fashion Week said they will open the ‘The Edit, a store on Level 2 of the One Galle Face Mall where all participating CFW designers will retail their latest collections which were showcased at the last event in August.

CFW designers would be able to connect with a wider audience and retail their collections.

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“The fashion industry needs to do some changes because of the current Covid-19 environment and thereby designers are more sensitive to it,” Ajai Vir Singh, Managing Director of Colombo Fashion Week said.

“We just finished the Colombo Fashion Week where we presented 28 collections which are very relevant to the current environment with full health protocols in place.

“Designers have also developed a sharp intuition as to what clothes they should make which is subsequently relevant to consumer demand at the moment,” he said.

Sri Lanka is a global leader in Coronavirus control and the people are moving and engaging in normal activities under health rules.

Singh said that the way in which people perceive and purchase clothing items have changed, so sustainability will play an important role.

CFW introduced a new sustainable standard called ‘the Responsible meter’ where every garment which was showcased at the fashion week held on August had a responsible score.

Singh also said that the fashion industry will pick up because it has fared through many depressions and war situations since it is a basic need.

But there is a shift in the way in which designers create and sell their fashion products, he said.

An online portal of CFW will be launched shortly. (Colombo/Sep10/2020)