- Asanka de Mel on what’s in store for the year
It’s the dawn of another year – affirmations and hopes of a pandemic-free year echoed by all.
Brunch decided to kick off the year by chatting to some professionals of different industries to find out what they have in store for 2022. Today, we spoke to Lovi Ceylon Founder and CEO Asanka de Mel to see what he has planned for the year.
Asanka went into the new year celebrating with his extended family at a villa in Galle – no craziness as they had to keep the ongoing pandemic in mind. “We wanted something private and intimate, so we booked a nice villa Down South and started off the year with fireworks by the beach and spending some quality time with the family,” he told us, adding that December, being the season, was one of the busiest months for him, so this was a much-needed vacation.
He shared that he gave the company staff a few days off, at the end of the month, to prepare for all that 2022 has to offer. “We’re launching three new collections in the near future and we’re very excited for Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) in February as well. We have so many new and fun things in the works, so stay tuned.”
The first six months of the year, for Lovi and Asanka, are going to be action-packed; after spending some much-needed downtime with family and friends, he returns to work today (4), full throttle and ready to take on this promising year. “Covid-19 or no Covid-19, we are going full speed ahead,” he noted.
Asanka gave us an exclusive peek into what the new collections will entail. “Since we had an amazing reception on our wedding collection, I’ve seen many notable people wearing Lovi, so we are looking to expand the groom’s collection.” He plans to bring in more of the traditional Sri Lankan craft into it, staying true to our roots and heritage. From embroidery and handloom to custom made fabrics, and they even plan to weave gold into fabric – how’s that for a priceless piece?
This collection is sure to be fun, exciting, and luxurious; one will be wearing Sri Lanka on their sleeve. Asanka promised that the designs will be completely new and something the Sri Lankan markets – and maybe even the global industry – has never seen before, as they are the only company that makes this kind of clothing.
They have also been looking into expanding their team as these clothes require a certain skill set to be made – knowledge on embroidery, fabrics, and weaving is a must, so they’ll be coming in strong this year, with a larger team and more designs on offer.
We asked Asanka what he thinks the ever-changing fashion industry has in store for the new year and what we can expect, to which he said: “I think we’re currently experiencing a rebound from the last couple of years – people are excited to gather; not just on the wedding side of things, but there are lots of corporate events, educational events, and conferences as well as tourism that’s all inbound.” He also added that there is a lot of buzz to relaunch all these events that the Covid-19 pandemic put an abrupt halt to, and he believes the fashion industry will benefit from all these events and gatherings.
We’re certain he is right; after several months of sitting at home in pyjamas, who wouldn’t want to buy the latest bling and show it off to the world? It’s about time that Colombo got its groove and glamour back.
We can’t talk about the new year without talking about new year’s resolutions. Asanka told us that his resolution is to grow his brand and keep growing. Keeping up with the ever-changing trends is an important aspect of staying afloat in the fast paced fashion industry and Asanka wishes for Lovi to be a stronger brand this year. In particular, he wants to focus on e-commerce platforms which have gained quite traction in the last two years owing to the pandemic and the push of all things virtual. “We hope to expand on our five-star service to clients and focus on developing these two fronts,” he stated.
Leaving us with a message to motivate, he commented: “As a country, we are all looking to figure out what’s next. It’s been a tough couple of years, and we as people have shown incredible resilience; we’ve been in difficult situations and still bounced back so here’s to everyone’s health, love, and growth!”