“One of the biggest challenges was to protect my designs because these tend to get leaked by workers or through social media. Living in this digital era, it is very difficult to maintain exclusive designs and copyrights"
Benz by Syeda Benazir Sadaquat exemplifies comfort and elegance, and unlike any other traditional clothing line, Syeda Benazir's brand "Benz" primarily focuses on making casual designer clothes for everyday wear.
A fashion designer by profession, Syeda Benazir, a business graduate and currently an MBA student from Brac University, said, "People should look stylish and well-dressed every day. It does not have to be a party or a wedding; casual dresses can be stylish yet comfortable."
Benz is at the point of making some big strides in Bangladesh fashion world, although it would have never been possible if Syeda Benazir had not followed her passion.
Benazir said, "Ever since I was a child, I was passionate about stitching and designing clothes. I used to design clothes for my dolls –but after completing my graduation, like most fresh graduates, having a conventional mindset, I joined the corporate world."
Even though she had a great job with a good work environment, it did not take Benazir much time to find her true calling as her real interest lied somewhere else. She participated in a small clothing exhibition and the response she received was overwhelming.
The designer added, "Both my grandmother and mother have been my inspiration. Since childhood, I have seen them dress elegantly. My grandmother was a very stylish woman. She had a great interest in fashion and has been a big influence on me - she sewed dresses for me when I was a child."
Benazir's experience with fabrics and stitching tempted her to switch to the fashion industry and with her parents' blessing and support, she infused her experiences with her designs. Her work reflects her experiences with regard to travel, nature, and culture.
Among a pool of uprising clothing houses and boutiques, her unconventional approach in the market with this offbeat strategy makes Benz stand out. Her intricate designs are handcrafted and along with casual attires, Benz also has party wear.
Benazir's creations from muslin and "chikonkari" for her Eid 2019 collection won the most appreciation so far. The combination of floral embroidery, karchupi, and dabka on shades of summer made the dresses look bold yet alluring.
"One of the biggest challenges was to protect my designs because these tend to get leaked by workers or through social media. Living in this digital era, it is very difficult to maintain exclusive designs and copyrights. In Bangladesh, unethical workers get away with such things easily," she said.
Overcoming this challenge has been a constant struggle. She usually does not circulate her exclusive designs on her pages or on social media. This is one way she keeps her exclusive designs safe.
Making her workers understand her imagination about design is a tough job. To ensure that the designs, colours, and finishing come out exactly how she had imagined, is a challenge. Balancing between her degree and work is also something she has to work hard on.
Her upcoming collection is mostly based upon colours from nature. Benazir was inspired by her younger sister who takes an interest in landscape and nature photography. The photos taken by her inspired Benzair to focus on colours that are around us – the sky, flowers, greenery, etc.
Benazir also revealed that the idea of a wedding collection is on the pipeline. Casual clothes by Benz range from Tk2,500 to Tk7,000 and party wears range from Tk9,000 to Tk50,000.
According to Benazir, this year's trending colours are all shades of blue and bleached coral. Her words of advice to her clients and everyone who loves to dress up are "elegance never gets out of fashion. Modesty will always stand out no matter what your age is and always choose quality over quantity."