Just like last year, this year we will also celebrate Eid-Ul-Fitr at home. But to lift up the spirit of festivities, like every year, our local fashion brands have brought out different collections for Eid.
The Business Standard spoke to eminent designer Emdad Haque and fashion brands Kay Kraft, Deshal and Jatra, who, keeping in mind that Eid this year is in summer, have designed their eid collections accordingly.
Emdad Haque mostly uses handmade fabrics for his designs but this year, he chose a lot of rich materials like cotton, velvet and organza. Eid has a unique way of spreading festivities in the air and he recognises that and for this Eid collection, he chose bright colours to reflect the festive mood.
His favourite colours used to express this theme are maroon, magenta, yellow, navy blue, purple and lemon green.
He also personally prefers kurti as it can be very versatile and can be mixed and matched with many wonderful combinations.
As for the price range, Emdad does not differentiate between any income groups, what really matters to him is passion for fashion.
He prefers constant customers who really care about the product they are buying. His kurtis starts from Tk2,000, sarees from Tk6,000 and punjabis can be up to Tk3,000. He does not set unusually high prices, but rather tries to keep his products at a moderate budget which everyone can afford.
The eminent fashion designer still has growing concerns about the pandemic situation and the purchasing power of the majority population right now.
And because of this health concern, he prefers doing business just in the online space at the moment and he strongly discourages gatherings at stores.
However, some of his products are showcased in a store in Banani 12. The store also showcases other products from top designers in the country.
Emdad Haque said, "Eid brings a lot because we enjoy our Eid after 30 days of Ramadan. But the situation is not good for us now and we have to be careful about our health and society. Eid will come every year and we can have a good time wherever we are. We have to be concerned about our lifestyle."
To know more, you could visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IamEmdadHoque/
When asked about Kay Kraft owner and designer Khalid Mahmood's inspirations for this year's Eid collection, he said they're now focused on sustainability more than ever.
They took inspiration from cultures throughout the world for example from Turkish and Belarusian motifs to their own jamdani and textile texture motifs as well.
Natural fiber made materials were used and the goal was to make the products as comfortable and user friendly as possible.
As for the price, Khalid Mahmood's main objective was to be logical and realistic. He acknowledges that the pandemic times have been tough on everyone in the country but he wants to make his clients happy.
As a result, Kay Kraft adopted a very reasonable pricing strategy in all categories starting from children's wear to women's and men's wear as well. They have a client base all over Bangladesh and the target clients this year are mainly upper middle- and middle-class families.
However, because of ongoing lockdowns and a significant increase in covid-19 cases, there has been a noticeable change in people's shopping behaviors.
The Eid shopping scene this year and the last has been significantly worse than the previous years as morale was low. But market study shows that online shopping is very much on the rise and Khalid hopes this will have a positive impact on his business as well.
Kay Kraft currently showcases their products at kaykraft.com and have been doing so for many years.
To keep up with the current design trends, the website was completely redesigned from the ground up and now has a friendly UI and displays almost 500 of their design variants.
This online renovation also brought in welcome changes such as a safer payment gateway which is always appreciated by the clients.
Currently, Kay Kraft offers worldwide shipping on orders above $100 and free shipping all over Bangladesh for all orders till May 15.
They also offer 15% discounts for selected bank card holders like HSBC, SCB, EBL, Prime Bank, BRAC Bank, Dhaka Bank, Mutual Trust Bank and Lanka Bangla Finance. Khalid confirmed that they are now getting a large number of online orders from around the world.
Khalid Mahmood said, "Let us take care of our health by living a healthy lifestyle. Celebrate your Eid with your close family members and be mentally happy. Support local products by using any product made in Bangladesh in your day-to-day life. This Eid is very significant for many people of our country who are involved with the fashion industry in many roles. We are trying hard to make our clients happy and the professions rolling."
The famous fashion house Deshal has brought a collection of sarees, three pieces, one pieces and kidswear. Like always all of their clothes are made of cotton.
For kids, Deshal has launched three pieces, tops, frock and panjabi. Chief designer and partner at Deshal, Ishrat Jahan, has let us know that, previously Deshal has always done asymmetrical designs in terms of motif. But this time, the designers have used geometrical designs.
She added, "We named this year's eid collection as 'protibimbo' as the motifs are symmetrical. The ornamentations on these handloom cotton clothes have been done with applique, block print, screen print, embroidery etc."
Ishrat has also let us know that all the collections are of reasonable price this year. Considering the pandemic situation, they have kept very low profit and tried to make it available to the customers.
Price range for three pieces start from Tk1,700 and are up to Tk2,500, all the single kameez are within Tk1,000.
Like always, Deshal has designed this EId collection focusing the young generations, especially students and middle class people.
She also added that due to pandemic the response from customers has been underwhelming this year. The customers can always purchase online from their website https://deshal.net/shop.
They offer both cash on delivery and payment via bkash payment. Currently they have a 5% discount going on from purchasing from their website.
Ishrat Jahan said, "The time is very hard now. But these hard times can be dealt with successfully if we all are together. We had hoped for a joyous eid this time after such a long year but unfortunately, this will not happen this year either. But maybe not now, but some days later we will be in better circumstances if we maintain proper hygiene and social distancing."
Another prominent brand Jatra has brought out Eid collection focusing on minimalist designs. Last baishakh, Jatra had launched a trailer on how it always promotes eco-friendly clothes and advocates against environmental pollution.
For this Eid too, Jatra have designed the collection keeping environmental sustainability in mind.
Intenaam Mohammad Jaquie, general manager of Jatra Bangladesh Limited, who have also designed this year's saree collection for Jarta has let us know that Jatra has launched exclusive saree collections which are minimal and elegant at the same time.
These signature sarees have been detailed with nakshi kantha motifs. Previously, the designers of Jatra had designed sarees with thematic nakshi kantha patterns which had motifs all over the piece. This year only the anchol is designed with significant elements of our folk culture.
Patchwork saree with hand embroidery, kantha stitched sarees are available in their collection. Some of these sarees are detailed tribal dances, tepa putul, village marriage ceremonies etc.
All of these designs emphasise traditional and folk figures and rituals. Considering the hot weather this year, cotton has been used for the sarees.
Apart from sarees, Jatra has launched tops and pants as well. These are made of khadi and soft cotton which are exclusively handmade.
Intenaam also mentioned that rather than machine work clothes, Jatra always uses handloom pieces. Unisex pants are available too.
Mens' and kids' collection was supposed to be launched for this eid too. It has been postponed for the pandemic.
The price range for saree starts from Tk4,500 and is up to Tk19,999.
Tops are available at Tk800 to Tk3,500. And for pants the price range is in between Tk1,200 to Tk2,500.
Intenaam also added, "As always, Jatra emphasises on handcrafted products which are made by local artisans. As these products are made meticulously with a lot of time and perfection, the products come off as a bit pricey. For this reason, the elite or higher middle class people are considered as our target customers."
"Considering the ongoing pandemic situation, the response from customers has been good so far", he remarked. They have received great response for the sarees. Although all the tops are not showcased yet on their outlet or online.
To buy online the customers can always message on Jatra's Facebook or Instagram page to place an order. They can shop directly from Facebook as well. Jatra's website has not been launched yet. Cash on delivery service can be provided all over Bangladesh for online purchase. Although, international shipping is unavailable at this moment.
Finally, he suggested to the customers to support local artists more. It is very important to sustain local craftsmanship and tradition.
He said, "Jatra's products are recognized and admired globally by foreign customers. As our locally produced products are often pricey, people often hesitate to acknowledge and value it. Rather we should uplift it to sustain our culture. We should use more local products and support our local artisans."