Do you wear your clothes or do your clothes wear you? In conversation with Abtahee A. Wasee (19), co- founder of Eastern Influence, Joyeeta delves into his notion that perceptions are wearable.
Bangladesh is possibly one of the biggest textile hubs in the current global market, having its own fashion statements dating back ages, infused with religious, cultural and hereditary influences. Even with the massive success of the garments industry, contributing chiefly to the national GDP, when it comes to local competency, there seem to be widespread skepticism about quality products.
The fashion famished mind of this young entrepreneur, frustrated and belittled by lack of style, along with his best friend, Prottoy A. Muntasir, founded “Eastern Influence”, which they hope to establish as a clothing brand that will ensure a luxurious clothing experience to its customers and beholders. The venture is currently operating online, through its Facebook page of the same title.
Dressing to Impress
For Abtahee, the demerits of puberty had been the setback that eventually led to his style evolution. It began with his friends mocking his appearance in the process of adolescence, as a counterfeit to which, he discovered his passion for dressing up.
“I don’t find myself good looking, so I started making myself look good,” said Abtahee, overwhelmed with nostalgia.
His extravaganza for fashion heightened when he was exposed to customized suits, one of his favorite outfits, he claimed; he started paying extra attention to details, delving into the history and evolution of fashion around the world.
As all experiments initially are, Abtahee’s intricate fashion sense was scoffed as being “over dressed” and even denotative of homosexuality to his beholders. In a society like ours, gender roles are vastly generalized; having knowledge about fashion and/or being attentive to appearance is considered feminine.
The Birth of Eastern Influence
Abtahee, through his explorations, concluded that even though many people shared his vision about clothing, Dhaka city had a lack of outlets that reverberated a unique statement; with over 10,000 garment retailers, customers are buying severely compromised products, even the ones as basic as a plain t shirt.
“When we started researching more extensively, we scrutinized the market; we realized the niche Eastern Influence could garner from. My co-founder Prottoy had initially suggested we only work with basics, which was the most bothersome deficiency.
But I thought, why copy Zara, Armani and Gucci, when we could make our own brand?”
Eastern Influence addresses a market in dire need for personality that aims to restore people’s taste and faith in Bangladeshi brands, unlike the current algorithm. It will renounce the vibes of Dhaka city, which the name suggests, an “eastern” influence, inspired by the local stylists and global bloggers, but presented afresh, envisioned in vogue cult syntaxes.
Ethos, Pathos and Logos
The trademark of Eastern Influence is a derivative of three fundamental elements of Greek Philosophy: Ethos, Pathos and Logos, which represent the ethics- namely Abtahee and Prottoy themselves, the nationalistic image of the brand and influencing the targeted niche, respectively. The goal isn’t, however, to sell in the mass market, because they will not be competing the available brands- their aim is to sell a luxury product in a luxurious manner.
“Our TG looks for quality material and preaches the theory ‘quality over quantity’. According to Cost per Wear, you will have a leather jacket for at least twenty years, and if you take care of it, you will have it for even longer. That’s what we are focusing on, getting Cost per Wear.”
A Better E-Commerce Experience
The e-commerce industry, with all its wits about itself, has been criticized for the unreliable quality, sizes and delivery systems. With the rising digitization, the convenience of shopping online should have long been established. However, the lack of attention to specific details reduces their overall value against the charged prices.
In the founder’s words, “Nobody pays attention to packaging in Bangladesh. So we are offering a decorative experience. A lot of people don’t like online shopping because sizes aren’t often right. If you are unsure about your size, we can send you 2–3 different sizes and you can try them out.”
Although a niche orientation should reciprocate its customers by default, the dreamer believes in creating a prerogative circle of fashion enthusiasts. One common miscalculation small brands often make is their undermined knowledge of the market; brands like Yellow, Ecstasy and Noir sell luxury wardrobe and accessories, with a very selective range of products, focusing on market capitalization.
“The ideal customer of Eastern Influence is one that cares about fashion. One that puts an effort, effortlessly. One that believes in quality over quantity, timeless instead of trends, and that fit is king.”
Eastern Influence is currently operating online. You can order their products through their Facebook page. Don’t forget to show them some wholesome love and support!