True fashion enthusiasts of the country are quite familiar to the brand Sarah Karim – a popular trademark in the high-end fashion scenario of Bangladesh. Whether it's the much-coveted fashion event of the year, or the lavish gown of a beautiful bride, the recognition seems to transcend everything.
To learn that the focal creative behind the brand; Sarah Karim herself, did not have any inclination towards joining the world of fashion, surely comes as a surprise to many.
“I majored in English Literature and was a faculty at Sunbeams School and North South University for a while; it was my Nani Shashuri, who inspired me to befriend the creative world of styling and fashion,” Karim confessed.
During our rendezvous with the fashion designer, we learned that she used to assist Mrs. Halim in her dealings with artisans and weavers. “The artisans working behind the creation of my couture collection are extremely qualified. After my grandmother-in-law's death, I had to carry on with her legacy, ultimately getting involved in the process of fashion designing and falling in love with the craftsmanship,” admits the gifted designer.
When asked the reason behind her extreme popularity, Karim smiles lightheartedly, “There is no secret, really! It is just that I make clothes that I would personally love to wear; there's just no compromise to quality,” shared Karim.
Every creation has many people putting tons of labour hours behind the hard work; Karim accepts the fact, especially acknowledging the talent of her employee artisans. “The people that work for me are brilliant and experienced; their precision and dedication is what enhances the brand name,” says the designer.
Besides excellent craftsmanship and designing, there are many other things that cause a brand to be successful and Karim accepts it palpably saying, “My focus has always been on selecting suitable colours for each of my designs and concentrating on the detailing work of the embroidery; I spend maximum of my efforts to achieve perfection.”
Deeper into our conversation she reveals getting many of her motifs from her paternal grandmother as an heirloom. “I have been lucky in many circumstances to have had the guidance of some extremely talented human beings,” she admitted.
Later Karim informed us regarding her thought about the changing fashion scenario of Bangladesh. “There is definitely a positive trend in our country”, she admits, “…not only are we having international standard shows in the capital but the consumers are also becoming more conscious about fashion and styling; perceptive about their needs and wants.”
According to the designer, many of her clients come to the store knowing exactly want they want — “They have researched a lot and can even pin point to the finer details of the work. This is definitely an exciting time for authentic designers, since hard work will finally get the praise that it deserves.”
Before concluding the session, Karim had few words of encouragement for the upcoming designers of Bangladesh, “As long as designers are true to their hearts and dedicated towards their craft there should be no turning back for anyone. This has always worked for me.”
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Wardrobe: Sarah Karim
Makeup: Farzana Shakil's Makeover Salon
Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha