The fashion industry in our country, off late, has become saturated.
The pandemic inspired many people to express their talent in design and start their own labels, while at the same time, many others began importing Indian and Pakistani clothes to satiate the never-ending demand in the local market.
Although founded much earlier, in 2011, Koral Klauset's mission in this crowded market is to encourage and promote local designs, fabrics and artisans in all their majesty and diversity.
Koral Klauset is famous for its ethnic collection for women. Its angrakha dresses are one of its best-selling items. The brand takes pride in implementing unique embellishments like bullion work, French knots etc.
In their latest Eid collection, Koral Klauset used soothing French toile and Chinoiserie prints, which looked lovely on pastel backdrops.
The brand is the brainchild of Rupo Shams, who has been an admirer of sophisticated deshi designs all her life.
Being a student of social welfare, Rupo has always felt responsible for her country and compatriots. To give an upper hand to local designers, Rupo created a platform named 'Koral Klauset Events'.
The platform frequently organises exhibitions where local boutique stores or individual designers can participate and showcase their designs.
"Because of this platform, a handful of talented designers could make their way into the industry and I could not have been any prouder," Rupo shared with us.
When asked about the unique selling point (USP) of her brand, Rupo promptly replied, "Our cutting skill."
"Anyone who wears our design will understand the uniqueness of our cutting. Even a basic item by our brand with zero embellishment looks beautiful because of its cutting," she elaborated.
In her words, cutting is the most dynamic thing in fashion designing and she loves to experiment with it.
Currently, Koral Klauset is emphasising on fusion cuts like box cut, tail cut, high and low cut, silhouette cut etc.
"As a homegrown brand, we try our best to highlight local materials and artisans. The designs we make here are up to the minute, inspired by our heritage yet accommodating modern trends," Rupo said.
She believes that fusion is a very important concept in fashion.
"A designer needs to be dynamic while designing. I understand the urge of conserving local styles but in this era of globalisation, if a designer only focuses on orthodox fashion, her/his business might peter out," she explained.
Under the umbrella company Koral Klauset, Rupo now has three different lines: Koral Klauset, Melissa Dewan and Thread Studio.
Founded in 2020, Melissa Dewan is the titular line of Melissa Dewan, Rupo's daughter. After graduating from the London School of Fashion, Melissa joined Koral Klauset as a designer and has been operating her clothing line that makes western pieces for modern women.
Thread Studio is the men's line that makes bespoke panjabis. The brand has plans to launch intricate sherwani collections soon.
Koral Klauset's flagship studio is located in Gulshan. There is another outlet at Avanza - a multi-designer fashion store in Banani. This store was also founded by Rupo.
As of now, Koral Klauset is a team of around 50 people and has a production factory in Mohammadpur.
When asked about the price range, Rupo explained to TBS why the price of a designer piece in our country is so high.
"We do not have sufficient raw materials in our country. From laces to embellishment stones, everything is imported from either China or India. That is why production of clothes from scratch is a little costlier here," she concluded.
Ethnic Collection: Tk4,000 to Tk300,000
Western Collection: Tk3,000 to Tk12,000
Men's Collection: Tk6,000 to Tk30,000