AOD wins the International Fashion Award at UK’s Graduate Fashion Week with Designer AmeshWijesekara
Amidst the most distinguished fashion audience in London including the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Christopher Bailey and Twiggy to retailers like George, M&S , Top Shop etc, AOD achieved a global first for Sri Lankan fashion and design by winning the prestigious Graduate Fashion Week International Graduate Award in London last Wedensday evening. The award, which is a coveted one across the fashion world, is awarded for outstanding graduate talent from across the globe and is considered a testament for true excellence in fashion education. The work of AOD's fashion prodigy AmeshWijesekara won the award competing against some of the biggest fashion schools from Paris, Milan and New York. A recognition of this calibre places AOD's graduate talent and fashion education among the finest in the world.
AOD founder Linda Speldewinde stated that AOD's vision is to create world class graduates who can keep moving the industry forward: "the fashion and apparel industry of Sri Lanka means a lot to the country as one of the biggest employers and revenue makers. The graduates we create at AOD would either feed directly into supporting this industry to help it progress into a design-led future or they will be out there in the international fashion scene helping to carve out Sri Lanka's reputation as a fashion hub in South Asia. Amesh belongs to the second group and we are extremely proud of what he has achieved. Winning against design schools from Milan, Paris, New York, Hong Kong etc was a big win for Sri Lanka. This is an amazing achievement and we got here thanks to all our industry partners who make everything we do possible. AOD was so honoured to be invited to participate but to win was a really big deal, we have been working on creating an international star from Sri Lanka and we think we are on our way now to get there”
AOD has set Sri Lanka's benchmark in fashion and design education very high and through its powerful partnership with the acclaimed Northumbria University UK. Establishing close links with the world creative capital London, AOD has been harnessing the supremacy of Uks design education to nurture young Sri Lankan talent contextualizing it to the South Asian region so Sri Lanka South Asia has something to contribute to the global world of fashion. The outcomes of this work became evident with Amesh's win, which put AOD, its education and graduate talent among the worlds very best.
AmeshWijesekara was first brought into the limelight by AOD for his remarkable work that won him recognition at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Awards last year. Following this, AOD's international fashion academics nominated him for the Graduate Fashion Week UK and to commence a career at the world's premier trend-forecasting agency The Future Laboratory in London. AOD prides itself in not only educating great design talent, but also guaranteeing amazing employment opportunities for them. Post his great success at the Graduate Fashion Week 2016 winning the International Graduate Award; Amesh is now being guided by AOD to commence training with UK's legendary Sandra Rhodes' studio. Amesh shows great promise to be Sri Lanka's first fashion star in the international arena.
AOD's fashion education works closely with the global giant Northumbria to provide a world-class curriculum in par with latest international movements. Here, students have a unique opportunity to learn from an international faculty, access fashion industry professionals from home and abroad and get hands-on training to graduate as industry-ready professionals. While some graduates join the multi-billion dollar fashion export industry in Sri Lanka with AOD's 100% employment policy, others pursue their own career paths through special opportunities provided by the school to set up their own businesses or work with niche fashion labels.
AOD Principal Karen MacLeod, who herself is an experienced fashion designer from Europe, stated that AOD's links with the creative industries in the UK and design-led businesses here, has helped the school to shape outstanding graduates who can work and succeed anywhere in the world: "our graduates are scattered all over the world as design professionals who deliver something different. We find more and more of our graduates winning international recognition recently and we are humbled with the prestige and the trust that it generates in what we deliver."