ICO Sri Lanka by Indi Yapa Abeywardena
INDI & Co. or better known to be as ICO Sri Lanka will be the latest addition to the Colombo scene of high end fashion stores with a twist of affordability. Local and International customers are invited to experience ICO products, at 15 Havelock Place, Colombo 5. Located among hospitality connoisseur Havelock Bungalow and hair artistry Capello Salon, its set to create a destination heaven for the discerning woman, looking for the latest in lifestyle trends. ICO Sri Lanka will house products by local and international independent designers, contemporary fashion, beauty products, jewelry, small home ware and gifts. All of which have been sourced through exclusivity, limited editions, capsule collections and value for money.
ICO is the brain child of Indi Yapa Abeywardena, Creative Director for House of Indi, that has showcased in many fashion weeks locally and internationally and she is the backbone of ‘IYA Bride’ and the brands diffusion Line ‘INDI DIVA’.The purpose of it is diffusion line or secondary line is to create a fashion collection by a high-end fashion house that retails at lower prices, creating affordability of a designer brand to any customer. This range is separate from her "signature line", or principal artistic line ‘INDI’.
Indi wanted to bring in the Nex Gen of Indian Designer labels to watch out for, that is adored by young bollywood celebrities and fashionistas, while providing a platform for local designers to showcase their collection at a premier boutique with guidance than curation, something she never got at her initial design stage. A first by any Sri Lankan Fashion designer.
We spoke to Indi about her journey to becoming a designer and what drove her to open Ico.
1.How did you first become interested in design?
It comes from my mother. She use to sew clothes for me when I was small. I developed a passion through that and fell in love with designing.
2. What inspires you and your designs?
Day to day life inspires me with my diffusion line INDI DIVA but when a seasonal collection is thought of for my signature line INDI, I usually try to find a topic, research about it and then get into the life of that topic to get inspired and breakdown into color palettes, silhouettes etc.
3. How did you start your own boutique?
Lots of clients and friend have been asking me to open my own shop for a while now, and I finally came around to open one. Lots of research was done regarding the theme, location and of course the lifestyle concept path we wanted to take.
4. Where do you hope to go from here?
In the short run, we want to establish ourself as a concept store, a designer hub where you can shop for emerging fashion designers, buy boutique gift items and brand our store to the tourist market and expats in Sri Lanka. Personally I want to establish my diffusion line INDI DIVA in the local market, get it more exposure in mega retails store and departments store.
5. Do you have any advice for upcoming designers?
Don't copy other designers, get inspired by their collections and work on your designs with your passion, add your flavor to it. Always stick to what you're good at and clients will come. Try and tie up with a designer hub so you have a physical place to sell your outfits and market yourself heavily on social media.
Indi would like to thank Ajai Vir Singh and Colombo Fashion Week team for all the support through the years, her Alma mater Visakha Vidyala / AOD Academy of Design, all my clients and friend through the year, the designers joining in on this new journey and most of all my family.