Long regarded as one of the leading manufacturing hubs of the fashion and textile world, Bangladesh is steadily shedding off its limiting tag as new and unbridled design talent blooms in the country.
Setting the pace are young and enterprising homegrown designers who are filling a gap in the market by catering to a niche segment. One such game changing homegrown label is RISE, which offers a semblance of street culture with national and traditional styling to appease to a growing audience.
Founded by Faheem Mosharraf, RISE started out as a streetwear centric brand in 2016, after Faheem’s return to Bangladesh from Canada.
“While growing up, and especially through my teenage years, I strongly associated with streetwear – so much so that sometimes I used to design my own jackets and pants,” Faheem told Apparel Resources, adding, “Back then, I had no plans of starting my own label, but when I returned to Bangladesh, I spotted a gap in the market and saw a growing demand for the product category, which eventually led me to start RISE.”
In the present day, RISE has branched out from streetwear to include a good mix of casualwear, ethnicwear and accessories along with streetwear for both men and women, owing to the booming demand in the market. But when it started out, it focused majorly on streetwear fashion for men.
“The Bangladesh fashion market is still a very niche market, but the industry is evolving at a rapid pace. There are more and more young people out here who are more fashion-forward and experimental in their fashion choices which is positively impacting the fashion landscape of the country.”
Product assortment and pricing
Priced from BDT 795 for a T-shirt, going up to BDT 3,495 for a denim jacket for streetwear, BDT 1,795 to BDT 3,995 for ethnicwear, and BDT 1,295 to BDT 1,995 for casualwear, RISE poses as a one-stop shop solution for all fashion needs.
Known for its one-of-a-kind premium quality denim pieces, RISE offers day to night options for all age groups. Immaculate attention to detail form the crux of all collections – from the fit to the material to the washes to the kind of hardware being used – the zips to the snap buttons, the detailing over patches, the stitch finish – everything is state-of-the-art.
“Though there is a nail-biting competition amongst each of our product categories, if we go by the figures, we can refer to our denimwear, ethnic pieces (Panjabi and Kameez) and accessories as our bestselling products,” Faheem elucidated.
“Streetwear is our core, but with time, we have launched ethnic, casual and activewear in casual as well as premium styling for both men and women. In the upcoming days, we want to build a brand which provides fashion for all.”
USP and brand aesthetics
Not limited to seasonal runway trends, RISE has over the time developed its own voice and presents more of an individualistic expression which aims to infuse local culture and heritage with local textiles. The brand incorporates the usage of nationalistic elements such as the national bird, the national animal, and the national flower into its designs.
“We started writing ‘BANGLA’ on our clothing which quickly grew up to become a huge trend, getting adopted by numerous other local designers and brands. Keeping the tradition alive, you would see typographic phrases such as ‘BANGLADESH’, ‘DHAKA’, etc., emblazoned across our pieces.”
The streetwear aesthetic, which features prints and patterns such as stripes and checks, is also spotted over the brand’s ethnicwear. This serves as a semblance between street fashion and traditional clothing – a trend that has proven to be one of their good performers.
“Fashion has no definite boundaries. Pairing unusual sets from your closet with style is the most hyped nature for the current fashion enthusiast generation as can be observed on our social media platforms. Considering the recent fashion scenario worldwide, the current craze in menswear and womenswear will translate into trends such as aesthetic jumpsuits, oversized silhouettes, mesh tops, street fusion inspired modest fashion, Hawaiian prints, mono colour outfits, divider pants, wide striped patterns, mom jeans, all-over printed co-ords (top and bottom sets), and long jeans, to name a few.”
Manufacturing and sourcing
100 per cent ‘Made in Bangladesh’, RISE works with materials that are all locally sourced. The products are manufactured in-house at their own manufacturing facility located in Dhaka.
Based on a limited edition drop model, RISE mainly works on five collections, namely: Fall/Winter, Spring/Summer, Boishakh (which comprises Diwali and New Year), Eid, and a Puja collection.
Since the target market consists of different age groups, the brand works on an average for a minimum of 10 styles in each category – which vary more on the basis of colour variation within each style. This further varies based on seasonal demands as observed on a yearly basis and the brand observes the demand nature from its consumers to improve its forecasting for the next year.
Retail presence and expansion plans
What started as an online-only brand has, in a short span of time, expanded into various domestic and international locations, via its own retail network as well as MBOs.
Besides, physical bricks-and-mortar stores, RISE merchandise is also available for purchase via the brand’s own e-commerce store (www.rise-brand.com), Instagram (@rise.brand) and Facebook (@risebrandclothing) channels. RISE is also engaged with a few reputed third-party e-commerce platforms based in Bangladesh, such as Bagdoom, Evaly, Aadi and Daraz.
In the pipeline are future plans that underline an experiment with kidswear fashion clothing, which is scheduled for next season. This line will focus on casualwear clothing for both young boys and girls aged between 3 and 12 years old.