Transcending cultures through haute couture – for economic growth and empowerment

In recognition of the opportunities in the fashion industry as a potential platform to expand trade and cultural ties between Sri Lanka and the Philippines, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Manila initiated a virtual introductory meeting between two dynamic personalities in the industry – Ms. Darshi Keerthisena of Buddhi Batiks and Mme. Nikki Coseteng of Kaftan One.

The meeting stemmed from Ambassador Gunasekera’s initial introduction of Sri Lankan fashion and apparels to Mme. Coseteng with the aim of identifying potential channels for such exports in the local market to promote and enhance the tropical footprint in fashion design.

Mme. Coseteng expressed her admiration to the exquisite designs and creations of Buddhi Batiks and its noble initiatives to support local artisans and the community. She mentioned her interest to incorporate Sri Lankan heritage-inspired fabrics in her upcoming kaftan collection. Ms. Keerthisena welcomed the proposed collaboration and committed to extend her support by sending a number of Sri Lankan handcrafted fabrics and other materials to the Philippines to commence the project.

Both designers agreed to further explore opportunities for brand collaboration through a potential fabric and design exchange for an exclusive kaftan line for high-end Filipino fashion clientele.

Ms. Darshi Keerthisena is a widely celebrated Sri Lankan lady entrepreneur recognized for endearing efforts to bring the country’s batik industry into contemporary limelight. As the Creative Director of Buddhi Batiks, she has transformed the modest cottage-industry into a byword for innovative, high-end couture that has established a global niche. Her designs have been showcased at the Buckingham Palace and in various countries worldwide.

On the other hand, Mme. Nikki Coseteng is an accomplished businesswoman, former politician, and a patron of the culture and arts. She previously served as a Senator and Congresswoman in the Philippines. Currently, she is pursuing her passion as an educator and a fashion enthusiast through her own brand: Kaftan One.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
05 August 2021