AOD catapults New Gen – Fashion Design Graduates to the global stage at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2022

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) Sri Lanka 2022 presented by AOD, powered by DIMO was hosted from the 2nd to the 4th of December 2022, the annual global platform for celebrating and showcasing the fashion and apparel industry of Sri Lanka and South Asia, as well as young design talent, this year chose to centre around different themes. Day 1 highlighted ‹The New Local› and celebrated cutting-edge designs fashioned using techniques revolving around local craftsmanship – emboldening graduate fashion designers to feature Sri Lanka’s rich heritage and culture strongly in their work. Day 2 brought to the limelight emerging designers from AOD›s Fashion Marketing program -including alumni who have already made a name for themselves across international waters. Day 3 was an inspiring New Gen showcase of the work of AOD›s Fashion Design & Textile graduates who have worked together with industry partners to put together their final year collections.

The theme falls in line with a larger vision of producing greater economic value from a uniquely Sri Lankan standpoint; one that encourages creatives to seek inspiration inwards – be it in the form of design, craftsmanship, or tradition – as a means to fuel the export retail industry; and in turn, add significant value to global economies with a proudly Sri Lankan tag.

Final year collections of graduating students from AOD’s BA (Hons) Fashion & Textile Design, and BA (Hons) Fashion Design & Marketing programmes were walked down the ramp, as some of the local and international design industry’s most notable heads took note – acknowledging the impressive and impactful designs coming from the very representatives of the future of fashion.

“I am really pleased to be a part of the student experience here at AOD and to work with the new generation of creatives to exhibit their innovative, and contemporary collections of design outcomes,” said Thomass Atkinson, Director of Academic Affairs at AOD. “The students are wonderfully resilient and extraordinarily creative. I›m looking forward to their success in the industry, and I am sure they will forge ahead with new and successful careers.”

Also in its bid to champion the power of innovation, sustainability, and entrepreneurship in its students, AOD harnesses its wide network of industry partners to make student collections come to life; making accessible cutting-edge industry know-how, manufacturing technology, as well as workplace training. An investment that reaps two-way rewards. This year alone students were able to benefit from the vast industry expertise and influence of Hirdaramani, ORIT, MAS, Bobbin Group, Timex Garments, STAR Garments, Hela Clothing Apparel, Orient Design, Norlanka Manufacturing, E.A.M. Maliban Textiles, Freudenberg Lanka and Vilene International.

“Within the modern context of the socioeconomic landscape, AOD final-year students have proved that “collaborations›» are a great way to innovate new ideas, and have produced powerful outcomes through creative and technological contributions from both a professional and students level,” commented Prabath Samarasooriya, Senior Lecturer at AOD’s Fashion Design Department. “MBFW was the pioneer platform to reveal the strength of collective effort between the ideas of the young creative community and the professional contributions of established organizations.”

For A/L students with their eyes set on a successful career in fashion design, AOD’s fashion department offers two attractive undergraduate programmes to choose from: the BA (Hons) Fashion & Textile Design and BA (Hons) Fashion Design & Marketing programmes. As with all of the premier design education institution’s full-time, 3-year BA degrees, these too are affiliated with the Northumbria University, UK – now named University of the Year 2022 at the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

With the Fashion & Textile Design course, students are given the opportunity to investigate and experiment with a diverse range of fashion disciplines, in tune with the ever-changing tides of the industry. In their final year, these aspiring fashion designers will then be asked to create, develop, and produce their own individual collections for a graduate fashion showcase, as well as the prestigious MBFW Sri Lanka.

The Fashion Design & Marketing programme is aimed at future fashion marketeers, where students get to engage in all aspects of fashion studies; from research into fashion markets and their customers, fashion forecasting, fashion graphics, illustration, photographic styling, and promotional techniques, capping off the course with design realisation projects through pattern creation and garment construction.

AOD’s strong industry collaborations and strategic local and international partnerships provide its students with unique access to industry specialists, work placements, international study trips, opportunities to showcase on global platforms, etc., playing a formative role in shaping students’ study, award-winning curriculum aside.

All students at AOD are also afforded the unmatched advantage of being tutored by a diverse and uniquely qualified global faculty, and that too within the walls of South Asia’s most inspirational creative space – the Colombo Innovation Tower (CIT). As the very hub of all things design, it comes as no surprise then that the campus is equipped with world-class facilities, equipment, and workspaces, where students also get many a chance to rub shoulders and forge connections with both industry titans and flourishing entrepreneurs.

AOD invites all O/L and A/L graduates looking to make a name for themselves in the exciting and competitive fashion industry, to learn more about the university’s fashion design programmes. For more information please contact AOD on 0775727772, email info@aod.lk or walk in between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday – Colombo Innovation Tower, No 477, R. A De Mel Mawatha, Colombo www.aod.lk.