Serena Williams, one of the top athletes in the world, was always in the spotlight for her superb performances and her striking sportswear. She successfully showed that being active does not mean you cannot be stylish.
With advancement of time, the concept of sportswear changed worldwide. It is no longer about being loose or hiding your body, rather, the new designs are meant to be flexible and functional.
Both men and women have become more conscious about wearing fashionable yet comfortable clothes for gym or any other sports.
Dour is a Bangladeshi sportswear brand which was officially launched this year in January.
The idea of establishing Dour came to its founder and CEO Abid Alam Chowdhury when he was an undergraduate student in the UK.
"When I was in the UK, I saw that many people in Bangladesh would wait for someone to bring them sportswear from there. Some of my friends would also ask me to bring them branded sportswear from the UK. I used to the go to the gym too at that time and the idea of sportswear made in Bangladesh hit me then," he said.
He returned to Bangladesh in 2018 and within a few months began to work on his idea, knowing that sportswear has a niche market.
His family owns KAC Fashion Wear Ltd, so he had the opportunity to experiment with colours, design, mix of fabric and also employ workers from the factory to work on his brand.
"At one point I realised that I was planning too much and things were not moving forward. I decided to take a chance. Dour had a soft launch in 2019 and we officially launched in January 2020," said Abid.
At the moment, Dour products are made in the KAC Fashion Wear Ltd factory in Gazipur.
However, Dour operates separately, it is also separately registered. Other than polyester, rest of the raw materials are sourced from local industries.
So far, from planning the products and designing them, to handling social media, Abid has been doing most of the work by himself. "I take ideas from the internet, and then make samples from random clothes. For sportswear, functionality is most important. No matter how good these clothes look, they are of no use if they are not functional. KAC Fashion Wear Ltd never made sportswear before, so we do a lot of R&D for Dour. We do many experiments with mix of fabrics before we are assured of the product quality."
During the pandemic, Dour sales increased drastically. The reason may have been increased health consciousness among the public or simply because it is stylish sportswear made in Bangladesh.
"Ever since it was launched, Dour has been getting response beyond my imagination. We are having sales worth one month within two to three days, many of our products are going out of stock within few days. We also deliver out of Dhaka and customers have been ordering from places such as Rajshahi, Pabna, and Mymensingh."
Even those who do not buy Dour items, congratulate us for taking such a step. Some even give us suggestions on how to improve. We really appreciate all the positivity," said Abid.
Almost 80 percent of Dour customers are women. Recently the brand collaborated with fitness trainer Nazia Hassan and launched an exclusive outfit titled "Nazia H x Dour". The founder said,
"Nazia is so respected and we knew she would be able to showcase Dour in the right way, we are so glad to have collaborated with her."
Dour products include high-waist intense leggings, sports bra, boxer t-shirts, biker shorts, compress t-shirts and more. Sizes are available from XS to XXXL and the prices range between Tk900 and Tk2480.