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United Designers: Chathuri Samaraweera
September 15, 2011
Satellite Voices introduces you to 14 new independent fashion names to know from the region
- Text by Kate Hazell
The Sri Lankan-born Chathuri Samaraweera launched her label Anaya in 2008 and is now one of the region’s most exciting bohemias.
Satellite Voices: What does being involved in United Designers mean to you?
Chathuri Samaraweera: I feel that it will bridge the gap between the current, over-exposed luxury designer labels and the inspirational, original creations that belong to local talent. It gives me the freedom to explore my creativity and tell my unique story through my designs and my label Anaya. There are no restrictions or buyers involved, which makes the product offering more creative and close to heart, rather than having to focus on the hard sell. Like the Centre for Fashion Enterprise concept in London, which has paved the way for Mary Katrantzou, Erdem and Peter Pilotto, United Designers will pave the way for UAE’s emerging designers to reach international recognition in the years to come.
SV: How would you describe your work?
Chathuri Samaraweera: My Work reflects a fusion of creative influences from all the places I have lived in my life. I grew up in Sri Lanka before moving to Los Angeles to study Fashion Design. Sri Lanka is full of amazing cultural and creative industries. I was always fascinated by the colours and the amazing handmade techniques of batik and tie-dye which I include each season. The silhouettes are inspired by the streets of Los Angeles, the effortless style and the freedom of movement compliments the lifestyle of the girl that I am designing for. I Moved to Dubai in 2010 and since then my work has been inspired by the glamour of this city. It’s amazing how well dressed women are in Dubai they have great taste in clothes.
SV: What do you think of local talent in Dubai’s fashion industry?
Chathuri Samaraweera: I feel that the glamour of this city has taken over the creative industry. There are a lot of designers doing bespoke, couture outfits and less focusing on ready-to-wear. The work of many local designers reflects a very strong cultural aesthetic. It’s a unique opportunity to find more ready-to-wear designers all under one roof at United Designers.
SV: What does Dubai mean to you?
Chathuri Samaraweera: To me, Dubai is a land of opportunity. A land filled with rich culture, an explosion of color, a vibrant cosmopolitan community full of fashion forward consumers eager to find the next new “thing” in fashion. I have always considered my work to be a little over the top and colourful, simply because I love colour in all forms and interpretations. This city gives me the freedom to explore this phenomena and the love for color in every woman, is truly an inspiration.
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