Bangladesh’s economy is growing at a fast pace despite the world lockdown with the COVID-19 pandemic. With around 64.81 million people living in urban areas (Source: statista.com), signifies that people have disposable cash here and proportionately giving rise to the domestic fashion market and lifestyle retail brands.
Utilizing this opportunity, a new startup ethnic lifestyle and innovative high-street retail brand AMIRÁ – a concern of Experience Group – hit the fashion market a year ago with its unparalleled R&D, design and creativity.
Within one year AMIRÁ steered a buzz among the all age fashion lovers, especially among the Gen Z crowd of social media lifestyle influencers, with its futuristic fashion and charming traditional colors and textures.
AMIRÁ’s in-depth research on Bangladeshi consumers analyzed every aspect of their culture, tradition and mindset before bringing any garment into the market. AMIRÁ focuses on creating silhouettes and styles that enhance its customers’ body type and skin tone.
AMIRÁ uses cutting-edge technology to fashion comprehensive and high-quality products for its treasured customers to ensure a long-term relationship. Amirá is here to make a change in Bangladesh’s retail industry.
AMIRÁ’s collections extending from East to West offer up-to-date style and comfort. AMIRÁ hits the shelves with three types of products in its first outlets in Uttara, Mohammadpur and Wari:
- Daily Pret or also known as Casual Wear
- Classic Pret or also known as Semi-formal Wear
- Signature Pret or also known as Formal Wear
Among ladies wear, AMIRÁ’s products include – kameez (3pc, 2pc, 1pc), ethnic trouser, scarves, ornas, silk tunics, ethnic frocks, fusion tops, embroidered leggings, formal/casual shirts, tank tops, kaftans, denim (embroidered with handstitched beadwork), formal pants and accessories.
In the men’s segment AMIRÁ’s products include – formal/casual Punjabis, printed Punjabis, ethnic trousers (pajamas), formal/causal waistcoat, unstitched Punjabis, casual/formal shirts, chinos, denim pants/jackets, blazers and gent’s bracelet, are available at the showroom.
Zainab Maqsood, the Director of AMIRÁ shared to Textile Today the motive of starting AMIRÁ, “My family has been into textile and garment business for the last 60 years. It will not be an overstatement when I say being a member of the Experience Group (EG) family – I know the industry really well, our Family is known to think big, the fixation on color and fashion and the obsessive focus on apparel details is what brought success in every EG venture.”
“After my graduation from Coventry University London Campus, UK, I joined my family business and adjusted quite fast, you can say that the business genes run in our family. Regarding fashion, I’ve always been really passionate and connected to it, I think it’s something all girls have in common, just watching my mother design her dresses at the tailors to seeing the Export Client’s samples in our Sample Section as a child really intrigued me.”
“I traveled around the world and realized that fast fashion brands’ designs are too simple strips or monotonous – whereas Bangladeshi people love vibrant color in their attires. They want each and every inch of a garment to be given attention. Except for a handful of brands in Bangladesh, others lack design diversity, fabric innovation and quality. It is really heartbreaking that Bangladesh is known to be a top export garment maker, yet we lack in serving our own country with quality and trendy designs in the retail market,” Zainab added.
AMIRÁ is about giving the best and affordable attire to customers. Each and every product has the depiction of detailed handcraft artistry. The vision of creating pieces of art worn by valuable customers on a daily basis, which sets AMIRÁ apart from other local brands.
“We are intensive on the trends that will look most attractive and stylish for our Bangladeshi customers achieving the highest quality possible. Utilizing high-quality fabrics with in-house designing, printing and manufacturing process, for the best outcome.”
It is a common practice in Bangladesh that local fashion consumers love to do shopping with family/friends i.e., in group. Also, families do full shopping from one brand store or place – especially at festivals.
AMIRÁ has given the customers liberty and a place of attractive fashion items for the full family.
“On top of it, the market is full of Indian and Pakistani products–which attracts the majority of the consumers’ cause, unfortunately, they don’t find their preferred option as often in their own country. But I believe it’s time for India and Pakistan to start following Bangladesh’s upcoming fashion trends, not the other way around.”
“All these reasons drove me to come up with AMIRÁ – which creates our unique identity. Our fashion designers’ explore their creativity and potential to recreate our values, our graphic designers illustrate various motives to represent our art, our pattern master creates silhouettes to enhance our beauty, our operators stitch to give life to our culture – in the end, a holistic brand to represent the pure Bangladeshi form.”
Zainab said, “At the start of the pandemic, we realized it is possible to rethink everything about retail, from how brands connect with consumers, to how fashion is made and delivered.”
Within this promising one-year journey, AMIRÁ ensured high-quality innovative and out-of-the-box fashionwear at a reasonable price.
Fabric innovation is one of its prime advantage points. Besides using locally made fabric, some of its high-end fabrics are imported from India, China, and Pakistan.
Zainab Maqsood said, “For the first time in Bangladesh, we used digital printed cotton net for ornas, digital printed khaddar for winter wear and digital printed zari lawn for kameez. We are always testing new varieties of fabrics, including viscose-based fabrics (organza/silk), Pima cotton, Bemberg silk, etc. I like to bring fabric innovation in any way possible.”
As an outcome, the response among the shoppers was so overwhelming that very soon Amirá will open 2 new stores– a flagship store in Gulshan 2 and a store in Bashundhara City Shopping Mall.
Zainab also highlighted the importance of maintaining a strong presence online, through the brand’s website: amirabd.com and social media: @amirabd.design (Facebook), @amira.apparel (Instagram).
Zainab Maqsood said, “The pandemic steered a new age of innovation for retail and a swift change in customer behavior. The unpredicted shift in shopping habits and a great number of people forced to purchase online occurred instantaneously. Therefore our team believed it is very important to maintain a strong online presence to make AMIRÁ a dynamic and feasible brand, we are determined to constantly innovate and change with our consumers.”
AMIRÁ is not just about conquering the local market. Zainab has a far-reaching vision, added that the brand will expand to regional markets like India, Pakistan, Dubai, etc. the regional fashion hubs and look beyond to expand as a global brand with its unique and rich ‘Bangladesh’ identity.
“Consumers need to realize that western clothing is usually sold in single pieces, whereas our clothing contains two/three pieces in a set– and each piece has its unique artistry and hand-drawn art motives– and comparatively to western fast fashion garment prices, is quite reasonable. Behind every AMIRÁ’s collection – our full design team starts off with picking an exceptional theme, then we dive into a deep research method to create mood-boards of colors, print and history of the theme, which is used to create and bring our value-added.”
“We should value and feel pride in supporting and buying products made in Bangladesh. Creating a positive perception about locally made clothing. This is AMIRÁ’s ultimate goal, to ensure Bangladeshis with trendy, high-quality and affordable apparel, and reduce the supremacy of Indian and Pakistani clothing items over the local brands.”
AMIRÁ is highly conscious towards reducing its CO2 footprint. As the brand believes that sustainability is the ultimate priority. Zainab added that it is paramount that the fashion and retail industry leaves a greener world for the future generation. AMIRÁ will ensure using less plastic in its products.