Traditional fashion industry can reach the international market with government support…..

Shaheen Ahmmed, Proprietor and Fashion Designer, Anjan's       
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Considering the cultural, social and religious life and festival in Bangladesh, there are several kinds of traditional clothing that helps to distinguish us from other nations. Many local brands are presenting different types of traditional dresses, which are assisting to keep alive the traditional fashion in line with today’s trend. Anjan’s is one of the leading local brands who have successfully won a place in the customers’ heart by showcasing traditional dresses with traditional designs. They are very much popular to the youths also. The texture, the motif, the stitches have been made from the heritage looks, colors and smells. The only changes are the color shade, clips and styles.

On 15 February 1994, Anjan’s fashion started from Siddheswari in Dhaka. They brought contemporary designer collections. In 1998, Anjan’s fashion introduced the second branch in Dhanmondi. Currently Anjan’s fashion have 22 showrooms, which includes key places of the country like Banani, Gulshan, Uttara, Panthopath, Jamuna Future Park, Chittagong, Narsingdi, Bashundhara City, Mirpur and Wari. Shaheen Ahmmed, Anjan’s proprietor and fashion designer, always plays with the latest design in his mediation. He brought all the clothes from the usual time to all the festivals of the new design.

Figure: Shaheen Ahmmed, CEO, Anjans
Figure: Shaheen Ahmmed, CEO, Anjans

Recently, Mustafa Al Takbir (Mahim) has taken an exclusive interview with Shaheen Ahmmed where he shared many aspects of fashion design, including Anjan’s journey to reach today’s position. Here is the glimpse of the discussion for Textile Today reader.

Textile Today: How was the journey of Anjan’s?

Shaheen Ahmed: We started commercially in 1994. In the month of Ramadan, we arranged a show where we got good response from buyers. In 1998, we opened a new showroom in Dhanmondi. Meanwhile, we achieved popularity among people from all age groups. Basically, we started getting better response after opening the Dhanmondi showroom. There was no separate showroom of Anjan’s, OG and K Craft previously. Apart from this, we used to participate in different fashion competitions. Various fashion magazines organized these fashion competitions. As a result, we eventually gained a good reputation among the people.

Textile Today: What is the present status of Bangladesh’s fashion industry? Talking about the problem and the probability, what is your expectation from the government to expand this industry?

Shaheen Ahmmed: Bangladesh’s fashion industry is gradually reaching to a better business worthy position. To say about its possibilities, I would say the future of this industry is good. The need for bigger industries is to get the clothes that are needed for the large population. Over the time, meritorious youths are coming in this industry; this is the best aspect of this industry. I expect the government will give priority to this industry to expand as this industry is saving the country’s foreign currency by making garments for domestic market. Another contribution of this industry is employment, as well as knitting and weaving industry. If we get necessary support from the government, one day the industry will be able to reach the international market.

Textile Today: We know that foreign designers in the export oriented garment industry are taking a lot of money from Bangladesh. What is the position and contribution of our local designers in the fashion industry?

Shaheen Ahmmed: Our young designers are working in the local fashion industry and I would say they are doing very good. Many young people are now studying about fashion. So, in the near future, our designers will reach in a better position. Not only in the domestic fashion industry, but also in the export oriented garment sector they will make a big position.

qoute-shahin-ahmmedTextile Today: Could you please tell us about your organization’s product and production. What kind of material do you use?

Shaheen Ahmmed: Anjan’s has been working in this industry for a long time. By ensuring originally designed, quality and customer service – we created a prestigious position because of these three things. In 95% of cases, we use domestic raw materials. In Bangladesh, Anjan’s works with traditional clothes. That’s why, the country’s demand is very good. In the case of foreigners, the expatriate Bangladeshis create a good demand for us. We produce dresses for all ages. Besides, we also produce home textile, handmade jewelry, fashion accessories and craft.

Sari, Salwar Kameez and Punjabi are our most sought after clothes. We also make shirts, fatwa, tops, t-shirts, shawls etc. We work with two types of geometric and floral motifs. Anjan’s collection of clothes always promotes the heritage, culture and pride of Bangladesh. We make theme-based clothing with every social, religious festival and special days. Cotton fabrics are the most prominent because of the weather conditions in Bangladesh. We also use cotton, silk, half silk, jayesilk and khadi.

Textile Today: What is the position of Bangladesh in international fashion product competition?

Shaheen Ahmmed: In the international fashion market, Bangladesh has not been able to create any position in terms of design. However, we are continuously moving towards design and quality.

Textile Today: What is the importance of academic education for those involved in designing?

Shaheen Ahmmed: Designing is a creative issue. You have to be creative first, be good at the same time. There is no alternative to education in any profession. The whole world business is now in the very competitive market. So, those who want to come to this profession, they must study academic courses while keeping an eye on international fashion trends.

Textile Today: Why is your fashion house different from other fashion houses in the market?

Shaheen Ahmmed: Since the beginning of Anjan’s, the most important thing is about design. Designs distinguish Anjan’s from others. Anjan’s always prefer the clothes of the indigenous loom to the costume design. Design, quality, clothing design, always emphasize the pattern and cutting, specializing in the development of new designs over time, these are the special features of Anjan’s.

Textile Today: What do you say to the youth?

Shaheen Ahmmed: If anyone wants to work in this sector, then I would say that it is better to work in fashion design. It’s better to have at least one diploma. Those who are big fashion designers, they get more social respect.

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