AOD alumnus Amesh Wijesekara takes the spirit of Sri Lanka to the world of fashion as he wins the coveted award for the best emerging designer from the Premium Group in Germany. The Premium Group will now expose Amesh to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to directly connect to their influential buying network among Europe’s fashion elite, [...]


Sri Lanka’s young international fashion star, AOD Alumni Amesh awarded as PREMIUM YOUNG TALENT in Berlin


Amesh Wijesekara awarded as premium young talent in Berlin

AOD alumnus Amesh Wijesekara takes the spirit of Sri Lanka to the world of fashion as he wins the coveted award for the best emerging designer from the Premium Group in Germany.

The Premium Group will now expose Amesh to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to directly connect to their influential buying network among Europe’s fashion elite, through a showcase at Berlin’s Galeries Lafayette.

Amesh’s continuing international wins signify the clear resonance that AOD’s fashion education has with where international fashion is heading with new definitions on the roles of sustainability, craft, design and technology in wearables. AOD has announced that its School of Fashion is expanding its capacity this year to give more young talent access to the kind of exposure and study experience that creates international stars like Amesh.

Amesh Wijesekara has been on a steady ascent to international fashion stardom since graduating from AOD few years back. From Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on homeshores, to winning Graduate Fashion Week International Runway in the UK and turning heads at Fashion Scout during the iconic London Fashion Week, his scintillating style has caused mini quakes across the international style scene. When the PREMIUM group announced Amesh as this season’s young talent winner, this young Sri Lankan fashion prodigy instantly became part of a global membership of designers who get access to some of the most elite fashion buying and retail circles in the world.

Amesh's - Premium Young Talent Fashion Showcase in Berlin

Amesh’s success represents the strength of AOD’s Fashion School that focuses on creating the kind of designers who can take Sri Lanka’s fashion business global, with groundbreaking integrations between textile, tech and craft.

At AOD School of Fashion, Amesh was first exposed to using his training in design thinking to combine cutting-edge printing technologies with traditional textile crafts like handloom to animate his inspirations from Sri Lanka and international street style. This initial exposure proved to be exactly what the budding designer needed to catapult his career on to the international stage, as he won recognition after recognition for his uniquely Sri Lankan inspirations and unusual craft-meets-tech-meets-street style fashion philosophy. Even after, AOD has remained a central figure in guiding Amesh, from discovering him at Mercedes-Benz Runways to his first international nomination for the Graduate Fashion Week UK. This kind of deep involvement and personal coaching to reach your personal best, is part of what makes AOD’s education so special and more likely to create star-rank graduates like Amesh.

Educating for the future of fashion 

AOD School of Fashion has a prograssive view on what wearables are, and can do for consumers. Years before online retail really took off in Sri Lanka, AOD demonstrated how fashion becomes a whole new experience through digital channels with its retail platform for AOD fashion graduates—FMLK (; Simultaneously, global discussions on sustainability and innovation in fashion were brought to Sri Lanka through AOD initiatives like the Sustainable Fashion Symposium and the South Asian Apparel Leadership Forum where the apparel industry are annual patrons. Even recently when AOD announced its vision for the School of Fashion, it is years ahead of what wearables are in the current market scene, moving towards converging fashion with technology and new economic insights to pave pathways to when Sri Lanka can produce clothing linked to optimising work, managing health, waterproofing and incorporating smart devices. AOD School of Fashion is educating for the future of fashion.

International exposure + inspiration from local roots

With the view that the fashion business is intrinsically a global one, especially for Sri Lanka with its history in apparel exports, AOD’s School of Fashion places a central focus in giving students international exposure. Even in the case of Amesh Wijesekara, this exposure had a serious implication on his maturity as a designer who would have an international standing. AOD was also the first to create influential platforms like the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Sri Lanka, where South Asian designers had a chance to access global opportunities.

Parallel to this, AOD has also connected its students to local roots in fashion and clothing, allowing them to discover the magic of local crafts and heritage practices in weaving and dyeing. This has contributed to creating graduates who are deeply connected to their origins with radically new perspectives to reinventing them, or connecting them to technology or new styles—a trait that is apparent in successes like Amesh.

Amesh Wijesekara

Makings of a star

Amesh, who currently lives in London, brilliantly captures the spirit of Sri Lanka in his works. Far from typical depictions of Sri Lanka where heritage symbols and patterns dominate, Amesh’s visual translations of his memories of the home island are ultra modern and fresh. You can expect to see something you never expected to see, with unmistakable marks of Sri Lanka on them through the vibrancy of sunsets juxtaposing with jewellery upon uber-stylish silhouettes, and the dark shadows of tropical jungles contrasting with the blinding yellow-white of sunlight hitting sand at midday.

This bright, playful and bold style has been received exceptionally well internationally, and has allowed Amesh to evolve into an emerging figure within the in-the-know groups in European fashion. With the PREMIUM YOUNG TALENT award, Amesh receives a free stand at PREMIUM, where he will be introduced to international buyers with plenty of panache and get a one-off chance to introduce consumers to his collection with a showcase at Berlin’s Galeries Lafayette. PREMIUM is a group that has been promoting upcoming generations of talented designers since 2005 with their many ranks of exhibitions, trade shows, conferences and fashion shows where retailers, press, designers and buyers come together. The PREMIUM GROUP is supporting Amesh with manpower and communications, taking Amesh’s story to some of the best fashion media in Europe.

What it means to Sri Lanka

From a macro scale, this new attention that Sri Lankan designers like Amesh bring to the country, has growing significance. It presents how Sri Lanka is a growing fashion destination with fantastic talent, rich sources of inspiration, world-class manufacturing entities and even education facilities like AOD, that are in par with international standards, with living collaborations in fashion capitals like London, Berlin, New York and Copenhagen. This growing reputation is an essential component to the success of Sri Lanka’s emerging orange economy where creativity and ideas are the new currency. AOD School of Fashion will undoubtedly be a major influencer in Sri Lanka’s new future as the South Asian creative hub where a thriving fashion business fuels the national economy.

To find out more about Fashion, Fashion Marketing, Interior Design, Visual Communication Design, Motion Graphics & Animation Design, 3D product Design, Film and TV production, Interaction Design, Software Engineering and Design and Business & Innovation reach AOD Colombo on 0775727772, 0115867772, email or walk in between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday – AOD, 29, Lauries Road, Colombo 4.

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