Taking Over the Hill City: Asheni

A dream that started out in the back of her head flourished into a well-established online business and so far Asheni has been stealing the hearts of all young women around Sri Lanka.

From the start, she has proven that being business savvy and designing skills goes a long way in being successful in the fashion industry. After completing her business degree she started her very own clothing line less than three years ago. The brand is built on her signature styles such as bold colours and feminine designs. 

Read on as she sheds some light on her career that took off and the best advise she has for upcoming designers.

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  1. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in fashion designing?

You have known me for some time now and you know that I have been into fashion for a long time and I have always wanted to own a brand of my own.

Since I was 12 I used to always dress up and try to look my best even if I was going to a shop close by. It was in-built in me and I love putting clothes together and trying out new things according to the evolving trends.

  1. What were some of the hardships you faced during the start-up?

The hardships I faced were from a few of my closest people. But apart from that I had my parents, boyfriend and my friends who were very supportive and helped me get to where I am today. I would like to specially thank my sister for being my pillar of strength.

  1. What was your biggest fear when starting out in the industry?

To be recognized in today’s competitive business industry among so many well-established clothing lines was one of my main concerns. But I had a lot of confidence in myself and I wanted to introduce something new and trendy and I was able to successfully cater to the young market.

  1. What is your favourite part about being a designer?

I always loved designing, so I enjoy what I do. I enjoy being a designer every single day. I find it so interesting to look out for latest designs and adding something unique to each outfit. Another favourite part about designing is the colour coordinating. I love the concept of putting two colours together.

  1. Who are some of your style inspirations?

Emily Ratajkowski , Ariana Cannavo , Miranda Kerr and of course the Kardashians! 

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  1. Are there any types of clothing or styles that you avoid wearing and designing?

I was never a fan of ripped jeans . I have never worn ripped jeans and I will never promote ripped jeans through my brand either.

  1. If you could collaborate with any brand one day, what would it be?

 I would love to collaborate with Shay International. I think our brands share a lot of similarities fashion-wise. 

  1. Is there a physical store coming up soon? If yes, when?

I have plans of opening up one and I also have so many personal client requests. But, if I am ever to open up one in Colombo it will at least take about two years.

  1. What advice would you give young designers who are starting out and hoping to make it in the industry?

To start with nothing is impossible and it is very important to always dream big! You must always follow your heart and do what you love rather than what you’re forced to do. Being a woman there can be many challenges (in starting a business) but it is important to be confident and to believe in yourself and to do things the way you want to do it. Most importantly you have to always be yourself and not change for the world. Being myself is what got me to where I am.

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