AOD fashion graduates exposed to global networks and major career prospects at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

AOD class of 2018 gets premiered at the Graduate Fashion Showcase at MBFW Sri Lanka, connecting the young professionals to the most influential apparel companies, international fashion names and powerful job opportunities that can jumpstart their careers

The freshly graduating fashion designers and fashion marketing professionals of AOD were the young talent highlighted at Sri Lanka’s biggest fashion business and industry event—Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2018. The ‘Graduate Fashion Showcase 2018’, which is an annual showcase of the most cutting-edge fashion talent that Sri Lanka has to offer, was incorporated into Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week as an integral part of the event, portraying the new generation of designers who will take on the future of the country’s fashion business. The event was attended by AOD’s powerful local and global networks with visitors from the Sri Lankan apparel industry, international fashion and design influencers from Europe and North America, as well as established designers from South Asian nations such as India and Bangladesh. This included local apparel companies like MAS Holdings, Brandix Lanka, Hirdaramani, Star Garments and Coats Thread, as well as global industry influencers like The Future Laboratory, GT Nexus, Neonyt, C&A, Northern Clothing and Textile Network and Hagger Clothing. Designers, studios and labels from Europe and South Asia, such as Henrik Vibskov, Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven and Upasana, were also among the audience at the Graduate Fashion Showcase, allowing students to connect directly with diverse types of successful designers in the international fashion landscape. Representatives from a few of the world’s leading design education institutes that maintain close links with AOD were part of the audience as well, including the Central Saint Martins College UK, Northumbria University and SCAD Hong-Kong. AOD Graduate Fashion Week 2018 was held throughout 26th, 27th and 28th of October at the Dimo800 Mercedes-Benz Centre of Excellence and was welcomed by the fashion industry as an inspiring insight into the future talent that will reshape the business.


The Graduate Fashion Showcase exhibition included over twenty young designers; some of who were collaborating with the local apparel industry and value chain for their final collections. Collaborations with MAS Linea Aqua, Coats Thread, Dynawash, Anim8, and the Bobbin Group were presented using industry technologies, breakthrough materials, state-of-the-art printing and finishing methods. These co-creative collections highlighted the graduates’ industry-readiness and allowed talent recruiters and potential employers to identify how well they can work with industrial technologies and tools. At the same time, it was also a strong indicator of how the local industries are beginning to value working closely with design talent, to present cutting-edge wearable innovations from Sri Lanka. At a more macro level, this work helped international delegates from the fashion business understand how Sri Lanka is a progressive fashion destination that reinvents wearables where design, innovation and technology converge.

For the graduating fashion designers and their future prospects, The Graduate Fashion Showcase held at a powerful platform like Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Sri Lanka proved to be extremely valuable. The event was also open to the public presenting an unusual opportunity for parents, students and young people aspiring to become designers in understanding the standards and practices in the current business of fashion and how it works through professional networks, international links and industry collaborations.


The AOD Graduate Fashion Showcase was a fantastic display of fresh design talent, hard work and strong work ethics. It was also an inspiring portrayal of how homegrown talent will have the capabilities and the know-how to access great career opportunities as Sri Lanka begins to establish itself as South Asia’s creative hub, presenting new jobs, and even whole new industrial sectors where young design professionals are in demand.