“Research and Development is the pre requisite for ensuring sustainability in fashion industry. Passion and Technical Knowledge are necessary for a rewarding career.” – Sheikh Nahida Hoque, Manager- Design, FCI (BD) LTD

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‘’ I am a fashion person, and fashion is not only about clothes – it’s about all kinds of change” said by Karl Lagerfeld.  Fashion industry is always evolving. It moves forward continuously. Design department is the language of the buyers. Fashion designers interpret the buyer’s design through their design and development activity. Research and development ensures the sustainability of the industry.

Sheikh Nahida Hoque, is a prominent fashion denim designer from Bangladesh currently working as Manager, Design, in FCI (BD) LTD. After completing her Fashion Design Course from Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology, she started her industrial journey with the internship at Beximco in 2011. And then she joined the Opex group as a Fashion design executive. In these 10 years career journey Ms. Nahida worked in many organizations namely, Beximco, Opex,  Doreen Group,Bitopi Group, ZXY,  and took care of many buyers like Inditex, JCPenney, OVS, PVH, Gerry Weber, River Island and many more. As a fashion designer, she always feels comfortable with R&D that’s why most of the time in her career she focuses on Research and Development especially in Denim and formal tailoring.

Recently Team Denim Focus had a conversation with the potential female designer where she talked about the ongoing Denim Industry situation, design concept area, challenges, more value addition in design concept and add value in customers’ end and her future endeavors. For our readers, the conversation is presented below –

Sheikh Nahida Hoque, Manager- Design, FCI (BD) LTD

Denim Focus: In your opinion what is the Difference between foreign and Local Company In terms of design and development?

Sheikh Nahida: In my sense, there is no such difference between Local and Foreign Company as Design department is the language of the buyer. Fashion designers interpret the buyer’s design in our design and development. Working pattern, work environment development sequence, product quality are almost the same as we are collaborating working with foreign Brands.

Denim Focus: How Bangladeshi Fashion Designers are supporting our industry?

Sheikh Nahida: Right now design and development sector in BD is mostly led by our local designers. 10 years back the situation was different. We were dependent on foreign experts. But now we are self-dependent. Our designers have taken over the leadership with very great thinking and creative power. There are still some drawbacks that need to be addressed and resolved. I observed that many big industries in our country are led by some management who have poor knowledge about this design and development process. This is why our industry couldn’t establish many fashion design and development studios. On the other hand, R&D is also expensive. However, we are gradually developing but also professionally need some care. I believe, after 10 years our R&D will be fully run by our own designers.

Denim Focus: What is your Observation regarding University and industry gap?

Sheikh Nahida: It’s a very good point to talk about. Its true that we have a huge gap between industry and academia. Students usually don’t have the idea/ knowledge of industrial work procedures during academic life. But the student can have basic ideas and this idea can help them to understand the industrial work procedure. If someone says that University didn’t teach him/her about the real-life working process. Then I would say it’s common for everyone, in the industry we use the latest technology but in books we read old techniques. If I talk about myself, I am very much good at the pattern. And I learned about it in my student life and now implementing it in the industry. It becomes possible because I gave extra effort to this pattern learning. So if any student wants to develop a career in the fashion industry, then they have to learn by own. In the meantime, we also need more universities for fashion design. In the Parallel, we need more workshops, mill week, fairs for attending students and having the real picture of fashion trends. Moreover universities should come forward and make an alliance with the industries to produce more capable man-power.

Denim Focus: How do you see the future of Bangladesh Denim Industry?

Sheikh Nahida: Denim has a very good future in Bangladesh. Especially in bottom segment, cash flow is very high. If we can develop in trend analysis, wash analysis, fabric knowledge then we can grow this sector more. In 100% cotton product, we are very good, no doubt. Price is always a race but our quality is also uncompromised.

Denim Focus: What is your Future Plan?

Sheikh Nahida: Future plan is still not constant, it can be changed depending on the situation and opportunity. However, I have always had a dream of setting up an R&D studio together with some dynamic enthusiastic friends of mine.  We will create designs and providel them to the international market. We will provide design, wash look, fabric quality all in from one platform. I want to explore the global fashion industry and make my footprint marked.

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