Sri Lankan fashion designers


03 Oct 2016 27 Feb 2017

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2.1 Sri Lankan amateur fashion designers don’t have a proper platform to showcase their talents.

Though many Sri Lankan designers have got lot of talent in this industry, only a very few people are recognized by the society as professional fashion designers. This is mainly due to the unavailability of a platform for amateur fashion designers to showcase their talents. Most of the amateur fashion designers are still trying to thrive in this rapidly changing market while facing many problems.

2.2 Sri Lankan amateur fashion designers don’t have a proper platform that gives the authority to sell their designs.

So far most of the amateur fashion designers have collections of their own designs that they’re unable to launch. This is mainly due to the unavailability of a proper platform. Furthermore, the other problem that they face is they don’t get a proper value to their designs even if they somehow manage to launch their designs to the public. This problem can be solved if there was a platform where they can exhibit their designs and sell those.

2.3 Amateur fashion designers in Sri Lanka have less awareness about the industry.

Most of the amateur fashion designers in Sri Lanka don’t receive a proper education about the industry. Although they have the talent, creativity and innovativeness their designing is not up to standards because the knowledge they have about the industry is poor. A proper platform, which would allow them to read and self-study about the trends and the industry, will help them develop their creativity. It will help them to create their own standards and as a whole it will aid in flourishing Sri Lankan fashion industry,

2.4 Amateur fashion designers may not have enough resources or a capital to manufacture their designs (Financial problems)

Even thou these fashion designers got new innovative designs they don’t have a proper way to manufacture these designs due to financial problems or they couldn’t find a manufacturer to manufacture. But if they have a platform where they can contact with entrepreneurs and manufactures, they can manufacture there designs and will have a chance to sell them to the public.

2.5 Amateur fashion designers in Sri Lanka are having lack of knowledge about fashion designing.

Most of the amateur fashion designers don’t have good background knowledge about fashion designing techniques. They are good at drowning but it’s not quite enough for a standard fashion design. This is a huge impact to the fashion industry because the designs which these amateurs come up with are not up to the standard.

2.6 Low knowledge transfer between Professional fashion designers and amateur fashion designers.

Undoubtedly, there are talented professional designers in Sri Lanka with years of experience. Lack of a proper platform causes them to hold their knowledge to themselves without sharing. Such platform will help in developing the fashion designers knowledge on fashion and designing and will also help to give an idea to the society about fashion.

2.7 There is no proper platform that people who like fashion designing can share their ideas or information with others. ( International opportunities are not communicated properly )

It is seen now that the more and more Sri Lankan fashion is connecting with the international events that happen. The British council and the AOD (Academy of Design) in Sri Lanka are in the mission of taking the Sri Lankan fashion industry to a global scale.(Mendis, 2011) But the opportunity is limited to a certain number of people who will get to know about the news, certainly the students at AOD. The events that are targeted in global scale needs to be communicated to the whole country and there is no common place to share the news about such events. Thus, the international opportunities are missed by lot of talented people. When it comes to sponsors or the people who are interested in fashion, mostly they are not updated about the latest trends. Therefore they have less idea on what type of designs they should invest on. This is mainly due to the lack of knowledge and knowledge transfers.

Being the single largest industry in the country,

Theapparel industryof Sri Lanka employs about 15% of the country's workforce, accounting for about half of the country's total exports, and Sri Lanka is among the topapparel-producing countries in the world relative to its population "Sri Lanka Design Festival 2009 – A huge boost for country's apparel industry".Daily Mirror. 19 November 2009.

  1. No value to the designs

‘The fashion design industry in Sri Lanka was almost non-existent about three years ago whereas today the local stores are earning around US Dollar 10 million annually. The local retailers of the local fashion labels have the potential to reach US Dollar 500 million in the next few years’ [1].

Fashion has taken on a new element in the local market with a number of Sri Lankan designers aspiring to become big names in the business of fashion with potential of turnovers topping US$500 million. The local retailers of the local fashion labels have the potential to touch US$500 million in the next two years, Ajai V. Singh, founder of the Colombo Fashion Week, told the Business Times.

Drucker (2000) cited in [4] proclaims entrepreneurship as comprising of five parameters: creating new markets, delivering value to customer, providing something new, changing customer value, and process innovation. In the same vein, entrepreneur has been identified as ‘an individual responsible for the process of creating new value’ (an innovation and/or a new organisation) [5].

Designs can be made in one day but giving them a proper value is not as easy as such, getting a proper value to a design is one of the most important thing that needs but yet amateur fashion designers fails at this. Being the newbie to the market amateur fashion designers have to compare their designs with the professional designers, cause of this the value of the design is decreases. Because of this the market value of the product all so decreases. When these designs came into actual products the value of the product get decrease case of having no proper value to the design.

  1. Couldn’t manufacturer and sell them

Due to the cyclical nature of the industry, typically when assistance is needed, out-sourcing operations (e.g. pattern making or machining) is the preferred option with most designers having dedicated contractors who work for them during particular phases in the production cycle [8].

  1. No market for products

Fashion is a blooming market in Sri Lanka, everyone tries to get in to this market with some sort of a product. Most of them are not willing to stay long, they just need to sell whatever they got and quit. Because of this the market is huge. Everyone sells their products at a cheap rate without even considering the actual market price of their products. Because of this the market is scrambled and when it comes to an amateur fashion designer who plans to stay here for a long and to get a proper brand name to their products comes up with an huge problem, cause the market doesn’t needs a proper brand or a proper value to their products cause of these short time market sellers.

  1. Hard to find manufacturers cause these people are not the big order manufacturers

Believe it or not finding a good manufacturer is probably the second biggest challenge whenstartinga fashion company, second only to successfully wholesaling your product. I know of many, many production nightmares, and now I am adamant that a good, reliable manufacturer is essential to start a fashion company.

Basically, you can’t really start selling, or even promoting your company without solid manufacturing, unless you plan on making the production runs yourself. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, thesamplesyou show to buyers must be close to identical to the ones you will be delivering when they place an order. If you are making delicate bias-cut chiffon dresses, you need to make sure that you can find a factory who will be able to make them as nicely as you can make them in your studio. Secondly, you cannot cost a garmentwithoutknowing how much it will cost in production. I have tried to do this before (with another company), it was a disaster. You usually can’t guess how much it will cost in production, and you must have accurate production prices to properly calculate your wholesale or retail prices.

  1. Advisers is vital but not here

Reference [19] defines creativity as ‘divergent thinking to conceive new ideas’. Creativity is frequently a defining feature of entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship research has produced increasing evidence that personal and professional networks are crucial in both founding and nurturing new ventures. Hence entrepreneurs who can rely on broad and diverse networks tend to be more successful [4], [6], [21].

networks and relationships as core to the concept of social capital [14].

The dominant assumption of the strategy-oriented literature is that success is primarily dependent upon the entrepreneur’s ability to develop and execute effective strategies [22].

On the one hand, fashion design is typically portrayed as ‘tied to the individual and his or her creativity’. On the other hand, ‘circumstances that allow design to occur within a commercial context are predominantly social’ [8].

With the industry now blooming in the wake of a number of students passing out as designers with capabilities of competing even on a global scale, a new industry has awoken. The fashion design industry in Sri Lanka was almost non-existent about three years ago whereas today these stores are earning around US$10 million annually.

Knowledge transfer is one of the vital aspects of perfecting an industry. Even to develop fashion industry they need to share their knowledge between each other.

Not everyone has a degree on fashion designing. Few of them have degrees related to fashion designing while many others design their designs for the instints of them or for fun and because of their designing talent. And also there are only few institutes which offer fashion designing degrees and not everyone is wealthy enough to have such a degree.

  1. No platform where everything in one place.
  1. Share the knowledge they gathered with each other


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