Any Bangali woman's wardrobe perhaps remains incomplete if there is not one or two jamdani sharis in it. The translucent and beautiful jamdani is an indication of our country's rich heritage and culture.
Jamdani has long been used to make outfits other than sharis, such as shalwar-kameez and kurtis. A relatively new brand called 'Oboni' is trying to represent this fabric in a different way altogether by making koti, gowns with belts, pants, and sharara style shalwar-kameez with it.
The online fashion brand Oboni started its journey on September 29, 2020 and launched its first-ever product line in the middle of December 2020.
Nazia Binte Harun is the sole owner but her elder sister works with her as the brand's creative consultant.
Within six months of its launching, Oboni received an overwhelming response from customers.
"The response I am getting is inspiring me and motivating me to do better and build a stronger brand. So far, my customers are happy with our service because we do not compromise with quality. High quality products are and will be the main thing that will define Oboni. My clients know it too," said Nazia.
She is currently working in Dhansiri Communication Ltd, an advertising firm.
Nazia completed her graduation from the Home Economics College with a major in Textile Technology. It was here that she began to dream of becoming a fashion designer.
But Nazia is also grateful to others for helping her realise her dreams. "What I am today is because of my family, my friends, and my colleagues. I have an elder sister, and to be honest, my fashion house Oboni was her brainchild. During the early stages of the pandemic, while sitting at home, I was wondering what to do with my life and my future. Then one day, my sister told me to follow my heart and my passion. I always had an interest in the history of our traditional attires, as well as global and national fashion trends."
Currently, Oboni has a small team consisting of four sewing specialists and two delivery staff, along with a little setup for production.
What is Oboni's role in promoting deshi fabric like jamdani and why did you choose a delicate fabric like jamdani to make your clothes, we asked Nazia.
"Gianni Versace had said, 'Do not be into trends. Do not let fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.
"This quote was the inspiration for me to start a fashion brand. I always wanted to do something of my own and it had to be unique. I think my products are somewhat unique in terms of design. Jamdani clothes are not new, that is true, but I tried to do something new with them," she replied.
Fusion dresses, especially fusions between traditional and trendy clothes, are what Nazia likes most to work on.
On this, she said, "The current trend is flared and loose-fitted clothes as well as sharara and gharara instead of traditional shalwars. Koti is also quite popular now and we have brought them into some of our outfits as well. Right now we are working only with women's outfits but very soon we are going to launch our children's collection."
It is Oboni's first Eid-ul-Adha, so this collection is very special for the owner. Keeping in mind the warm weather, she tried to use summer- friendly colours like white and pink in some of the outfits.
However, since it is Eid, she has also designed some festive sets in colours like deep purple, black, red etc.
She said, "Sharara and gharara are two of the most hyped styles for this Eid, so I made these with most of my dresses. With most of the collections, I tried to provide matching masks as well because we all know that the current situation demands them. Masks are now a must-have element with our clothes. But my suggestion is to wear a surgical mask with one of these designer masks to maintain complete safety."
Deliveries outside Dhaka are conducted with the help of a company whereas inside the capital, the deliveries are done by Oboni's own delivery personnel.
The price of the clothes vary between Tk1,500 and Tk6,200. Customers can order online from Oboni's Facebook page.