Sri Lanka apparel makers design a way up the value chain

Nov 14, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s apparel makers are making inroads into design, collaborating closely with international brands to becoming an integral link in the supply chain of a fashionably evolving global industry. Sri Lanka’s top apparel makers stepped into the design stage of garments about five years ago, but are now getting deeper into the process.

The MAS group which makes lingerie and sportswear for some of the top global brands including Victoria’s Secret and Speedo is now employing more than 40 designers.

“Our designers work closely with the design studios of brand-owners interpreting their designs, making suggestions and sometimes even giving ideas,” says Ravi Fernando of the MAS group.

The industry is fed with designers by Sri Lanka’s Moratuwa University which is now running a bachelors degree program on design with the London College of Fashion.

The third batch of 44 graduates are about to pass out after displaying their collections this week at a graduation fashion show.

Kumar Mirchandani of the Favorite apparel group says his company was a late starter in design work.

He speaks highly