A new normal environment calls for a new normal experience. Colombo Fashion Week curates a first-of-its-kind experiential retail interaction through knowledge in a responsible way.
Titled Retail Week, the three-week program commenced on Friday and will conclude October 4 and focuses on weekly themes, such as Fashion and Wellness Week, Environment and Conservation Week and Literary Week. The program is based on creative collaborations which bring about interesting retail interactions for guests and patrons; and it was launched in association with One Galle Face and HSBC Sri Lanka.
The month-long event program is a knowledge and engagement-based experience which includes expert talks on relevant themes and subjects, book readings and workshops, value added retail experiences, movie screenings, junior chef program, art workshop for children and special events, such as wine tasting and demos.
“To us the dynamic inside a contemporary mall environment is interesting and fascinating. We wanted to enhance the dynamics by bringing interesting creative collaborations so that knowledge is stimulated for patrons and add value beyond just monetary. OGF is an iconic mall in Colombo. We could experiment this new concept because of their openness to collaborate on something new.
Knowledge, entertainment and interactions is the basis of this experiential concept. I feel like coming from a creative industry like fashion and experiential retail is a logical next step. We are excited that OGF is partnering with us in this new concept. I am glad that our long-term partner HSBC continues our journey with Retail Week and will be introducing a new product,” said Managing Director of CFW Holdings Ajai Vir Singh.
One Galle Face is the venue and partner for this new retail experience. It is Colombo’s first internationally developed and managed mixed-use development project. Retail Week will craft knowledge and engagement-based retail experiences which incorporate talks and other events categorised into weekly themes. In today’s context, it’s important that all are sensitised towards the importance of our environment, and hence a week-long program has been created to build knowledge and awareness through workshops and talks to engage the audience.
It is called Environment and Conservation Week, with key topics open to all, covering the impact of plastic by Dr. Anush Amarasinghe, Managing Director of BPPL Holdings PLC; marine conservation by Dr. Asha De Vos, Founder and Executive Director of Oceanswell; the leopard as an umbrella species for landscape-level conservation in Sri Lanka by Anjali Watson and Dr. Andrew Kittle, Co-Founding Trustees for The Wilderness and Wildlife Conservation Trust (WWCT) in Sri Lanka; and threats faced by sharks and rays in the Indian Ocean by Daniel Fernando, Co-Founder of Blue Resources Trust.
In addition to this engaging retail experience, CFW will launch The Edit, an exclusive store space on Level 2 of the One Galle Face Mall where all participating CFW designers will retail their latest collections which were showcased on the runway in August. The Edit will be a dedicated store space for CFW designers to connect with a wider audience and retail their collections for a limited time at One Galle Face.
Fashion and Wellness Week will include talks on fashion grooming by Fouzul Hameed, a well-known name in menswear fashion solutions; the role of batik in contemporary design by Darshi Keerthisena, Creative Director of Buddhi Batiks; Professional Etiquette by renowned Corporate Trainer Kumar De Silva; and Responsible Fashion and the Journey Towards Circularity by Ajai Vir Singh, Managing Director of Colombo Fashion Week.
A Literary Week has also been curated with exciting book readings by celebrated Sri Lankan authors Ashok Ferrey, Shehan Karunatilaka and Aartika Aurora Bakshi. Each author will read an excerpt of some of their fan favourite works, while Ashok Ferrey will unveil an excerpt from his upcoming new novel, “An Unmarriageable Man.”