AOD: SCHOOL OF FASHION CHANGING THE GAME IN THE FASHION BUSINESS
AOD’s fashion design and marketing degree presents the most future-forward curriculum for the wearables industry with a remarkable entrepreneur success rate; with an impressive mix of international academics and local fashion industry professionals, the course is currently recruiting for its 2019 intake
As the business of fashion transforms globally, Sri Lanka’s offer is also evolving to mirror these inevitable shifts. Building on its economic success as an apparel manufacturer with a global reputation for quality and a serious commitment to sustainability, Sri Lanka is now bringing in some promising local talent to the focus. One of the leading influencers behind nurturing and facilitating this new talent is AOD— a school that has always maintained an essentially design led innovation driven perspective on fashion. “One of our signature study experiences that bridges the gap between commercial fashion and industrial innovation, is the BA(Hons) Fashion Design and Marketing degree that we offer in collaboration with Northumbria University in the UK. This degree particularly, has become a producer of really, really interesting and clever fashion entrepreneurs,” said a faculty member at AOD. “And by this I don’t just mean designers who make best-selling collections, but those who are contributing interesting perspectives on where traditional textiles meet technology, where culture is reinvented through wearables, or how ‘sustainability’ can become a strong and profitable core for a fashion business. We feel these unusual graduates that we’re creating are actually going to play a big part in shaping Sri Lanka’s future fashion economy.” Fusing fashion studies with explorations in textiles, print and graphic design, plus business basics with major opportunities like the London Graduate Fashion Week in the horizon for outstanding graduates, the BA(Hons) Fashion Design and Marketing degree at AOD is definitely a degree that meets the demands of tomorrow.
Fashion know-how and expertise from across the world
Amongst the leading pedagogues at AOD is Sara Snowdon who is the lead academic behind the powerful Fashion Marketing degree. Sara brings a wealth of knowledge from her experiences with companies like Next Sourcing, ASOS, Eve magazine and experience from where other industries begin to intersect with style, like Nissan Styling Studios. Bringing in the essential business and commercial and sustainable paradigms to the degree experience, Sara also has roots in fashion copywriting and in volunteering with NGO's and charities within education, social action and textile sustainability.
Speaking on the course, Sara mentioned that she believes that the degree’s unusual mix of fashion, design, marketing and business is really the future of the wearables industry. “We’re at an age when fashion is much more than clothing; it connects to science, energy, technology...so these kinds of study experiences where students understand the commercial, creative and technological perspectives of fashion, are really what prepares students for the future,” she said.
International fashion awards and runway accessIt’s not just London Fashion Week’s mega opportunities for international stardom and the runways of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Sri Lanka that are accessible to AOD’s fashion design and marketing students: international fashion networks and awards like Fashion Scout and SDC International Design Competition 2019 are also part of this course’s in-built study experiences looking to bring in global exposure. In fact, Reanna Kahandawala, a BA (HONS) fashion marketing and design student from AOD was just announced as the winner of the Sri Lankan heat of the SDC International Design Competition 2019. Reanna is now among the top ten finalists selected by a judging panel of fashion industry experts (including Mihiri De Silva—former Head of Design at Brandix, Piyumi Perera—head of design at Hirdaramani Industries and Isuru Punchihewage—vice chair SDC Sri Lanka and senior graphic merchant at Mast Far East – Sri Lanka), who investigated individual projects from several local fashion institutes and universities. The second and first runners up from the competition were also AOD students.
SDC has invited Reanna to attend the global grand finale, where the global winner will receive £1,000 cash and the prestigious Veronica Bell Trophy, among competitors from Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong (China), India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, the USA and the UK.
The most promising young stars in Lankan fashionFrom Shay de Alwis behind Shay Int, Lonali Rodrigo of House of Lonali, Nithya Lamahewa who founded Nithya, Tharshana Wijesinghe and the styling influencer Nethmi Muramudalige, AOD’s fashion alumni have been at the forefront of the Lankan wearables scene for over a decade. Adding to this trail of immense successes, are more young and upcoming accessory brands, stylists, fashion curators, and designers like UDAK, Bhagya Withana and Saeeda Deen behind 'Sour Metal' accessory brand. A recruitment officer at AOD said that these latest trailblazers represent the new ways in which the fashion industry is diversifying and growing. “If you look at Ruth Weerasinghe who currently works at Inqube Innovation as a Researcher & Product Developer, or Lithma Ekanayake - Womenswear brand 'Botani.que' and even Anushi Dassanayake whose role af Crystal Martin is a cross between design, product & trend research, the careers are really beyond the traditional ‘designer’ roles and include much more diverse ones that engage creative thinking at a much deeper level going from product processes to research. We also have graduates like Vinuri Wijewickrama who launched the surf brand South Side and works in Active Wear at Linea Aqua for brands like Calvin Klein & Tommy Hilfiger; Rozanne Fernando- Freelance Batik artist, works with artisans on a freelance basis to develop designs. So these are really groundbreaking approaches to fashion and design careers. This is what we offer young creative thinkers. It’s much bigger than the standard career prospect.” She added that the degree is currently enrolling for its 2019 course, and invited all After AL and OL students to reach out to AOD for the future of fashion.
AOD trains young talented minds to take on tomorrow, and evolve into the kind of young professionals who can truly make a difference in the social and economic dimensions of Sri Lanka. AOD’s groundbreaking education offer comes through four disciplines from the School of Design, School of Fashion, School of Business and the School of Technology.
To find out more about how to join AOD’s Degrees in Fashion Marketing, Fashion, Motion Graphics and Animation, Interior Design, and Visual Communication reach AOD Colombo on 0775727772, email: email@example.com or walk in between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday – Colombo Innovation Tower, No 58, Lauries Road, Colombo 04.
Follow the official hashtag #extraordinaryminds #AOD on social media.
January 2020 enrollments for all degree courses are now in progress.