No. Bangladesh is not only a place to produce fashion items.. It is a fashion scene by itself. Aydha Mehnaz, the girl from Minazification is telling all the things you need to know about Bangladesh fashion, including the hijab fashion scene. Keep on reading!
Tell me about Bangladesh fashion scene?
Bangladeshi fashion now is going through a transition phase, or more like we’re going a phase of globalization where our styles are influenced by what is happening in the global fashion scene. With young talented designers and emerging new local brands, InshaAllah we have a bright future ahead of us.
Many people know that Bangladesh as a place to manufacture fashion products. What is your opinion on this?
Bangladesh has been always one of the leading manufacturer for the global fashion industry. We produce clothing for H&M, G-Star Raw, NEXT, Marks & Spencer and many of the high-street fashion brands; it is a huge part of our nation’s economy. However, we are still distraught about what happened at Rana plaza a couple of years ago. A lot has changed since that tragic accident. The mother company of “Sailor” that I till very recently became a part of, is ”Epyllion” received the Annual CSR award in 2014 for successful establishment rules and regulation to ensure worker’s satisfaction, safety and security. There are many challenges we face being a third world economy and we want support from the companies who are our clients and people we communicate with to help us overcome this challenges and move our economy forward.
Are there many fashion designers from Bangladesh? Tell me more about it.
There are many renowned fashion designers in Bangladesh. Bibi Russell is one of my personal favorites; she has represented Bangladesh very well in the global platform. There are also many fashion designer have own their own retails focusing on ethnic based products similar to the case like the batik you can find in Indonesia.
How do you see Bangladesh style among other countries’ style. What is the characteristic?
The mainstream fashion here still has its modest roots. You can always see women wearing Salwar Kameez here in Dhaka that I think look very stylish and modest at the same time. Our fashion is very much influenced by the fashion in our neighboring countries and what we see on the television. Women here are more likely to buy Kameezes of different variety and designs rather than a jeans and a T-shirt. Therefore a business that caters to these kinds of customers always do well.
What about the fashion events and the young fashion designers? Tell me more about it.
We have two very good fashion institutes here in Dhaka. The schools produce talented designers who usually choose to work for our local fashion brands. A fashion events that take place are still very limited to a specific number of audiences, for examples private companies or many fashion brands, beauty salons collaborate together to organize the bridal festivals, summer fashion shows etc, create events on facebook for the people to show up or sell limited number of passes in exclusive places around the city.
Tell me the Bangladesh designers to watch for and the reason.
It is very hard to specify which designers to look out for, because everyone has their own ideas and things that they like. I am working for Sailor and we will be launching our retail stores very soon .Our design studio comprises of some great talents in the country. I think this is definitely a brand to watch out for.
You have a blog Minazification. What is your purpose for making this blog on first place?
I started Minazification because I wanted to connect with the other muslimahs around the globe who liked the fashion yet wanted to dress modestly, girls like me. I started wearing Hijab in the beginning of 2012 and I often faced this dilemma of mixing my casual outwear with something that is Islamic friendly and compliments the Hijab. Minazification is basically my visual diary where I document my gradually evolving style and the things that I like and admire. And as a bonus it has given me a very great platform to make so many wonderful friends from every corner of the world. <3
Do you have any message that you want to say through your blog?
Style is something that is very personal, it is all about mixing and matching the things you like and adore. It is not about wearing expensive brands or label. Personally, I would rather be happy wearing a pair of very cool flip-flops from the flea market than feel guilty about emptying my account on pair expensive ugly shoes. I often repeat styling of some elements in my blog posts every now and then. Back in August, you can have found me wearing Birkenstocks almost in every other Instagram posts!
Who is your hijab fashion inspiration?
My hijab inspiration by which I was inspired to wear Hijab were YaztheSpaz and Amenakin, and later a whole lot of multi-cultural hijabi community on Instagram and other social networking sites.
Are there many hijabi in Bangladesh? Do you have hijabi communities like the ones we find in Indonesia?
Yes, these days you can find a lot of hijabis in the streets of the capital. It is now said that at least one out of four girls in Dhaka now wear the Hijab. We also have hijabi communities likewise as found in Indonesia but we haven’t organised something as the “sisterhood event” but there was a small Hijab festival a couple months ago where small boutique owners and Hijab resellers participated to showcase their products.
Are the fashionable hijabi easily found in Bangladesh?
If you asked me this question like 4 years ago I would have said no but now you can find stylish hijabis everywhere! You should see the colourful ways, these hijabis get dressed for weddings and special occasions; it’s a beauty that one simply cannot ignore. <3
Tell me about your brand. How do you create this and what collections do you make?
Ans: Well, I work as a creative designer for an upcoming brand “Sailor”; we created Sailor as clothing that inspires Self- confidence. Sailor is a sister concern of Epyllion Group, a pioneer in the ready-made garment sector for the last 20 years. Sailor has a total of 4-colour labels under it. Orange label for the youth or casual wear that comprises almost 70% of our product line, Green label for kids. Black label for the executives or formal wear that is and lastly Heritage label for traditional wear for both men and women.
Please do visit our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/clothings.sailor.
Where will you sell the brand and what makes your brand unique?
We are launching our stores in 2 premium locations in the capital Dhaka this spring 2015 inshaAllah and plan to open more showrooms very soon. In the sea of life, we all Sailors navigating our own ships, there be might troubled waters, many ups and downs in life but a true skilled Sailor stands up for what he or she believes in and sails on. That’s our story and that’s what makes us unique.
Do you have any message to say about Bangladesh fashion, hijab fashion or Hijabi in general?
Hijab fashion or fashion in general is all about being who you are and believing in yourself. Don’t be afraid to try out new different styles but never forget your roots, where you’re from. Work very hard to be successful in career paths you choose to pursue in life whether that are fashion or any other thing you love to do.
Aydha Mehnaz is an aspiring biochemist an the founder of Minazification- a lifestyle blog which promotes modest fashion. Based in Dhaka- Bangladesh; Minazification started out as a hobby and now this lead her to a new career as the designer of a clothing brand called Sailor Bangladesh.
Stalk her on minazification.com