- Founder Asanka de Mel on what’s to come for the brand
By Venessa Anthony
LOVI Ceylon is all about embracing our traditional values as Sri Lankans, and LOVI Founder Asanka de Mel aims to spread a message of unity and togetherness among Sri Lankan citizens.
De Mel’s latest collection was launched spectacularly at the last Colombo Fashion Week (CFW). Labelled Shine, the collection told a tale of Sri Lankan empathy. The collection was unique, catchy, and stylish, with elegantly tailored sarongs highlighted in red, black, and blue. LOVI also showcased a few minimalistic dresses and outfit options for women.
Swapping life in Silicon Valley for a design studio in Sri Lanka, Harvard graduate Asanka de Mel is on the cusp of realising his long-held aspiration to fuse technology and design to make a revolutionary fashion statement in Sri Lanka and the world. Over his years in the design industry, he has mastered the art of merging innovation with fashion and creating unique, timeless pieces.
LOVI is on a mission to bring the thrill of sarongs to the world by introducing the first patent-pending designs with built-in pockets, belts, and lining to suit modern lifestyles.
The Morning Brunch reached out to de Mel for a chat on what LOVI has planned for the new year and how their journey was last year.
When talking about the brand’s vision and how it has evolved over the years, de Mel explained that LOVI has always strived to spark excitement about Sri Lankan roots as well as foster confidence about our island home. So far, he believes that the brand has been able to help define a new Sri Lankan clothing identity.
LOVI has been on a mission to introduce both Sri Lankans and foreigners to the comfort of sarongs by providing a variety of unique designs that are tailored to modern lifestyles. With the latest collection, de Mel stated, he “sought to contribute to the creation of a new Sri Lankan apparel identity”.
De Mel added: “Our latest collection, Shine, was inspired by the tenderness in our interactions today, and we hope it brings a sense of identity to Sri Lankans.”
We also asked de Mel how the brand fared last year, and if it faced any challenges. “The ongoing challenges we face are kneading at us, softening us. Gone is the bravado. Instead, we are more supple,” he quipped, adding that he is eager to build a prosperous Sri Lanka; from this quiet place, they are yearning to shine.
When speaking about their plans for 2023, de Mel stated: “It lights our hearts to see people discovering Sri Lankan style, many for the first time, making it their own and brimming with pride.”
On that note, he revealed that LOVI will soon be opening a new shop in Colombo 7 and launching two new collections at CFW in March this year, to better serve its loyal fans.
De Mel commented that while they know there are challenges ahead both in Sri Lanka and abroad, as the pandemic is ending, they are increasingly hopeful that their perseverance will prevail and be rewarded. Concluding, he shared: “Here’s to a blessed 2023 for each of you and your loved ones from LOVI!”