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Amandah walking for LOVI Ceylon at Colombo Fashion Week.
An Interview with Amandha Amarasekara
As LOVI struts its way into 2023, we wanted to highlight a model who has graced catwalks, editorials, and cheeky LOVI campaigns: Amandha Amarasekara. Represententing Sri Lanka at the Face of Asia competition in South Korea, we caught up with this industry veteran to hear his thoughts on competing, modelling, and equal pay in the fashion industry.
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Amndha at the Face of Asia competition in South Korea
Tell us a bit more about this competition you recently took part in.
A: The Face of Asia competition was held in Uijeongbu, South Korea and gathered participants from around 25-30 countries so it was an honour to be the only Sri Lankan representative. The camaraderie all us models formed was special—early morning wake-up times, show rehearsals, and strolls down the streets of South Korea. However, the competition was stiff and I didn't make it to the final rounds. Though my time there was cut short, I learned the importance of picking myself up, dusting myself off, and trying again, but harder.
What was one tough moment from the competition?
A: I want to say it was the 8-degree weather that dropped further on as the night progressed. And while the food was good it was no match for pol sambol, dhal curry and hot rice. The most challenging part for me was the heavy feeling of letting down those who had supported and encouraged me. But I also understand everything happens for the best. 
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Wearing a bejeweled LOVI two-piece garment.
How did the LOVI outfit collaboration come about?
A: LOVI is more than just a sarong with a pocket. It's the epitome Sri Lanka-infused, historically inspired men's fashion. When I was asked to bring in traditional wear to the pagaent, I called up Asanka and he, and the team, created the single best piece I have ever worn.The combination of Western blazer and shirt on a South Asian sarong was like Yin and Yang.The colour, the feel, THE BLING! I felt like royalty walking down that stage.
If you’re reading this Asanka, thank you so much for it! It was EVERYTHING!
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How did you get into modelling?
A: I was hustling as a flight attendant and TV presenter when I just happened to interview my current agent, Mr. Brian Kerkoven who got me to apply for his school and subsequently signed me on as a model under his agency. It was never a dream but I fell in love with it and left both my jobs to pursue it full-time. 
Do you feel the pressure to always be sharply dressed/ maintain a certain physique? How do you manage it?
A: This whole thing was a mindset shift and I simply integrated it into my lifestyle. It wasn't the pressure of society I felt but more a reason for me to step up my game and be better. Maintaining my physique and going to the gym has become my therapy and I thoroughly enjoy doing it.
Globally, modeling is one of the few industries where women earn more than men. Would you like to see more pay parity?
A: Luck might have it that in most shows I do, I get paid the same amount as the ladies but whether I credit that to fortune or my agent fighting for equal fees among his models (male or female) is debatable. 
If men are indeed clocking the same hours as the ladies, shouldn't we have equal pay?
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What changes would you make to the modeling industry in Sri Lanka?
A: Make it so that information on how to become a model is readily available and add a caveat that the position will require effort and maintenance. A model is somebody who is aesthetically pleasing, but the difference between an amateur and a professional is that you have to be a cut above the rest. It seems easy to call yourself a model in Sri Lanka after doing one photoshoot as opposed to following the stringent diet patterns and exercise regimes of those working to become models, such as in South Korea. 
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: Serving my country in more ways than I am right now and guiding the nation's youth by passing on any accrued knowledge in my fields (modelling, body building, men’s mental health).
One piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?
A: Other people's opinion of you is only as strong as the power you give it. Listen to the voice inside that already knows who and what you will be and feed only that. Everything else is just background noise.
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Thank you so much for being a part of everything we do.

speak soon.