Anuk, a ready to wear, women's luxury clothing label is four months old and making inroads across continents. Back from her recent show in Mumbai, the 25-year-old Srilankan designer, Samaadhi Weerasinghe is looking forward to her new collection out the next day. Her passion and energy are contagious. Her design aesthetic involves a mix of minimal and maximal lines, clean silhouettes and sharp tailoring.

"People have forgotten how to be comfortable. They have forgotten how stylish comfort can be", she says. It truly is a reflection of her body of work and the essence of her label.

Influenced by her close knit of friends, she talks about her latest collection, each piece bearing the name of her closest friend, a true testimony to friendship and fashion.


What were your childhood fashion influences?
My father was in the textile trade. I loved visiting him at work where he would educate me on texture and fabrics and make me notice little details like stitches on a garment or perfect tailoring. I loved fabrics and was always enchanted with various colours and textures. And it was my childhood dream to start my own label.


What are your academic achievements?
Since both my parents were academically inclined, I pursued a double major in and management which has really helped me in setting up my label.


Your work experience...
In the 4 years I lived in Sydney I was exposed to a whole new level of design and fashion. I gained an access to different dimensions of fashion from volunteering at Sydney Fashion Week to working part-time as a sales assistant and stylist for an Australian brand called SABA.
Back in SriLanka I worked for Colombo fashion Week and joined my father in his textile business.

How did ANUK start?
The timing was perfect. There was a time in Sri Lanka when the purchasing power was a lot less, Now after the war people are more interested in fashion, they are more exposed and want to spend money here vs overseas. People want to see fashion and designers and promote Srilankan talent. They are more conscious of fashion. So I decided to work on my label and launch it. 


What is your design process?
Fabric inspires me to create. I touch the fabric, feel it and then create patterns and envision the garment.

I love the easy vibe that your work emulates? How do you translate that relaxed vibe in your clothing?
Srilanka has a very tropical climate. People need to be comfortable in high humidity levels. People have forgotten how to be comfortable. They have forgotten how stylish comfort can be. My line is all about comfortable style and a relaxed look which can be glammed up.


What is your inspiration?
Colours. Colours are very inspiring and travelling. Snippets of things. Living in an island there are little things that insprie you.
I have very very close 4 friends. They are individualistically strong, stylish ladies in their own ways. My new collection is inspired and named after them. Each piece is named after them. They are my biggest critics and inspiration.

What fabrics do you enjoy working with?
I'm currently working only with silk, I'm also looking into silk blends like cotton silk and linens. I love linens.


What's next for ANUK?
I try not to dream too far away cause then one forget what's in front od you. I would love to expand my brand globally. But I want a slow certain growth not something quick through social media. Such growth is shortlived.