AOD celebrates its 7th successful year presenting Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Sri Lanka

From local runway to global success

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Sri Lanka (MBFW) emerged from the visionary drive of AOD— the pioneering design university in Sri Lanka— to create a global platform for the nation’s fashion talent. The endeavour found a key patron in Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO), the official brand custodian of Mercedes-Benz in Sri Lanka. The strategic partnership between AOD and DIMO brought MBFW to life, as one of South Asia’s fashion highlights that not only showcases local creativity but also aligns Sri Lankan fashion with global standards. Reflecting on this collaboration, Rajeev Pandithage, Executive Director of Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC, notes, “MBFW represents the convergence of local ingenuity and global aspirations, embodying the spirit of Mercedes-Benz to always deliver the best, in Sri Lanka’s fashion landscape. We’re thrilled to have presented the best of Sri Lankan fashion to the world for seven years.”

The emerging designers that kicked off their step into global runways through this platform over the years, continue to soar higher and higher. 2023 alone we continued to celebrate further recognition of AOD design prodigies like Amesh Wijesekera emerging as the winner of the prestigious UK prize for the Circular Design Challenge (CDC), India’s most prominent sustainability award, Nawodha Banadara won the highly sought after International Portfolio Award at Graduate Fashion Week International (GFWi) held as part of the prestigious Dubai Fashion Week and Dinushi Pamunuwa showcasing local batik on a global stage at Milan Fashion Week.


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is gearing up for its seventh edition set for December 2023. In its seventh year, MBFW will celebrate seven core pillars that made it become a major success for Sri Lankan fashion: Creativity, Empowerment, Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, Grassroot Connection, Global Alignment, and Global Recognition.



With AOD’s design ecosystem at the helm, MBFW is part of a unique design network which spans from education to retail to event platforms, creating a full circle of subsidiaries that are strategically interconnected. This ecosystem births designers passionate about sustainability, material innovation, and delivering solutions that work for real-world issues. It also fosters collaborations with grassroots artisans through the DFSD Foundation to create contemporary products available at retailers like Urban Island and FMLK. This catalytic fashion ecosystem is housed within the Colombo Innovation Tower (CIT)—a hub for collaboration and innovation. MBFW 2023 will be stemming from this powerhouse of possibilities.


AOD stands out for its commitment to creative entrepreneurship and design thinking. Numerous successful brands and designers, including Lonali, Nithya, and ShayInt, embarked on their entrepreneurial journeys through being connected to MBFW by AOD. The platform provides a launchpad for graduates, offering unparalleled PR attention, networking opportunities, and establishing their identity in the world of fashion.


AODand MBFW partnership positions fashion as a catalyst for change. AOD, the event’s organizer, has championed change in livelihoods, societal perceptions of fashion, and its potential as an agent against social and environmental issues. Over the past seven years, MBFW has showcased the work of more than 100 artisans collaborating with 30+ designers, creating a meaningful impact on what fashion can really deliver. This year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Sri Lanka (MBFW) is set to feature the return of past success stories, such as the renowned designer Amesh Wijesekara, unveiling new and captivating collections. Backed by the support of the German Embassy, Amesh’s showcase exemplifies the international collaboration integral to MBFW’s spirit. In anticipation of this collaboration, the German Ambassador Dr. Felix Neumann expressed enthusiasm, stating, “We are proud to support designers like Amesh, fostering cultural exchange through fashion and taking the best of Sri Lankan creativity to the MBFW runway.”

Grassroot connection

MBFW has consistently dedicated special content to showcase grassroot connections, hosting shows specifically for artisans to encourage design collaborations and craft entrepreneurship. AOD’s DFSD Foundation has played a pivotal role, supporting approximately 500 artisans over the years. MBFW remains to be a potent platform nurturing talent and skill development from the grassroots.


Proudly committed to responsible fashion, MBFW places sustainability at its forefront, subjecting all designers and brands to a sustainability check. This commitment not only ensures ethical practices within the platform but also provides a stage for designers to share their sustainability stories, gaining international attention and recognition—exemplified by MBFW past successes like Ruth Weerasinghe and Ruwanthi Gajadeera.

Global alignment

Bringing out a global sensibility in local brilliance, MBFW harmonizes international trends and movements with local creative talent. This ensures that the runways always align with global quality standards. Under the expert curation of AOD stemming from over 20 years of experience in projecting local fashion to the world, MBFW has become synonymous with pushing boundaries and redefining industry standards. When curating the MBFW shows, AOD teams up international directors, producers, and local designers, setting the stage for Sri Lankan designers to shine on the world stage.

Global recognition

Over the years, MBFW has evolved into a coveted global platform in South Asia, capturing the attention of the fashion world and placing young talent under the radar of the global fashion industry. It serves as a crucial stepping stone for designers and manufacturers, propelling them into the view of international buyers and garnering well-deserved recognition from new markets, prospective clients and investors.

As MBFW marks its seventh year, it remains a beacon of creativity, empowerment, and global resonance, showcasing the extraordinary talent embedded in Sri Lanka’s fashion landscape. To register and tune in to the livestream of the event visit;

For more information please call 0775727772, email, or walk in between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday – Colombo Innovation Tower, No 477, R A De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 04. 

Sunday Times article