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AOD sets up international collaboration between top Danish designer Henrik Vibskov

As the business of fashion morphs itself across the globe in preparation for the fourth industrial

revolution, Sri Lanka aims to establish its own place in this transformation. AOD— a

longstanding contemporary design and innovation partner of the local apparel industry and the

handloom SME sector, in its influential catalyst role of discovering a sense of place and identity

for Lankan fashion. Gaining new momentum for this work of over ten years’, AOD recently

announced a new global collaboration that helps in establishing Sri Lanka’s unique international

identity as ‘Innovation Island’—the South Asian creative hub where designers, brands and

entrepreneurs from all over the world can discover a new kind of fashion destination. This is

through a collaboration with the award-winning Danish fashion designer Henrik Vibskov, local

handloom artisans and the apparel industry. Drawn up as part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Sri Lanka 2018, this collaboration will take on the runways in front of a powerful audience of

buyers, retailers, designers and media from around the world.

This global collaboration is actually part of an ongoing series of Scandinavian partnerships that

AOD has been linking up with local industries. Previously, AOD’s Textile associate Island

Collection collaborated with the Danish brand DAY for their DAY NATIVE luxe series where Sri

Lankan artisans’ handwoven fabrics were manufactured into Day Birger et Mikkelsen’s coveted

looks by STAR garments. The new international collaboration where Lankan handloom

becomes the material of choice for the award-winning Danish fashion designer Henrik Vibskov

comes at a time when the local fashion industry is transitioning into a new age. Henrik, an

alumnus of the iconic Central Saint Martins’ College in London, has exhibited across the world

from New York, Paris, London, Stockholm, Seoul, Copenhagen, Kyoto, Rotterdam and

Washington, to name a few. Henrik’s work has been deemed ‘phenomenal’ and ‘extraordinary’

by fashion critics and he has been invited to show at iconic fashion festivals including the Paris

Fashion Week. He is currently a professor at DSKD and has frequently given lectures and been

a jury member at institutions such as Central Saint Martins in London, the IED in Madrid and the

Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Art. Henrik is currently working with the handloom weaving

 community in Divulapitiya, Gampaha, through AOD, where his Paris Fashion Week 2018

collection silhouettes are finding new life through textiles handwoven by Sri Lankan artisans.

This work will be premiered at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Sri Lanka 2018’s ‘New Sri Lankan

Style Runway’ which features outstanding work done by local and international designers using

local themes, craft techniques and textiles. The runway will take place at the Dimo 800

Mercedes-Benz Centre of Excellence in Colombo on 27th October.

AOD believes that ‘design’—the process that uses creative thinking to connect products and

markets in the most effective manner—is the missing link between local textiles and the global

fashion product. While AOD has nurtured and educated hundreds of local fashion talent to drive

this thinking through their work, AOD also finds that forming collaborations with international

sesigners to also be important. By cultivating interest in Sri Lankan handlooms through global designers like Henrik, AOD aims to influence new thinking in fashion to draw in major benefits

for the local textile sector. With more and more global designers and international brands

working with silhouettes, looks and styles that demand for the textures and finishes that Lankan

handlooms can cater to, AOD believes that local textiles will have greater demand in markets

abroad, and the apparel industry too will have new reasons to incorporate locally sourced

fabrics in their production.

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