Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 28, Tuesday July 15, 2008

 

 

Interview

Cat's Eye pour femme

When we talk about the tag 'Made in Bangladesh' Cats Eye takes its place almost right at the top. After Aarong, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Cats Eye comes in queue because it's in its 28th year of successful operation.

Always innovative and trendy, Cats Eye recently opened its long dormant women's line at its new 108 Gulshan Avenue outlet. The new line is at once contemporary, chic, comfortable and conservative, and looks very promising.

“We had run our women's line since '93 for a few years at our Elephant Road outlet, until space constraints compelled us to temporarily close it. Now that my children have taken up their share of chores in the business, we decided this is the right time to come back again,' says Ashrafun Siddiqui, Managing Director, Cats Eye.

Introducing the new
Raffaella Siddiqui, Director, who looks after the distribution of inventory to the different stores, has to take up the marketing challenges and overview the financial position of the company. Rummaella Siddiqui, Director assists Sayeed Siddiqui in the creative department, which encompasses the men's line as well as the newly introduced ladies and jewellery line. Sadiq Quddus, Director assists Sayeed Siddiqui in the creative department. Involved especially in developing men's designs are the three new prodigies of Sayeed Siddiqui, Chairman of Cats Eye.

These young and upcoming designers are the major driving force of the brand's new line, Cats Eye women's wear. The ensembles are stylish, with emphasis on the professional cuts. The tops or the shirts are of pastel and earthy tones with minimal embellishments; they look trendy and comfortable at the same time.

It must be mentioned here that each piece of attire, boasting contemporary styles look chic and elegant simply because of their cuts, fittings, and colour combination that flatter individual body types and actually accentuates the shape; change that is hard to come by in Dhaka's thriving market.

Cats Eye with their history of being the front-runners of the fashion world here in Bangladesh has opened their women's line at the right time when everyone is looking for a breath of fresh air. Starting from their basics, like knitwear vests, and tees and polos to the trousers, boot-legs, skinnies and capris, tops in beautiful cuts and designs, the store caters to conservative and chic clientele.

An excellent addition to this is their shoe line, assembled in China. This collection goes hand in hand with the women's wear. From ballet pumps, flats, and sandal shoes to high heels and coat shoes or Mary Jane pumps, each piece has the right attire to go with. “We've been working hard on this new shoe line, matching the right colour to go with the right soles, the right designs for comfort was our first priority. After a lot of test runs, the designs finally gave us this collection, which we believe young girls and ladies will go for,” says Raffaella.

Their pure silver line is the product of Rummaella's hard work. She is a jewellery designer as well as 'daddy's little helper' as she calls herself. “Our father gave his 200 percent to this line and researched with cuts, fittings and style in relation to today's fashion for almost two years before actually working on the ensembles, and what you see here is an amalgamation of his experience and our new ideas,” says Rummaella.

“We were very sure that our line would reflect modernism with a conservative touch. You will not see anything in the store that my sisters or I will not wear; these clothes are for modern Bangladeshi ladies who understand professionalism and who are known for their calibre”.

On a different note
Even as we welcome the fresh approach taken by outlets like Cat's Eye towards design, it must be mentioned that the larger picture remains somewhat dismal. While we maintain that Bangladesh is undergoing a slow but sure transition and becoming more fashion-savvy, the industry itself has far to go.

Just consider the recent craze for machine embroidered chiffons, muslins or organza sarees. Because the upscale stores have them, just about anyone converting a garage or drawing room into a 'boutique' and catering to bespoke orders must have some of the same, along with the tired block prints from three seasons ago. Whether these boutique owners and their 'lines' deserve the tag of 'designer wear' that they so loudly flaunt, however, remains debatable.

The metropolis boasts many boutiques with trendy clothes but unfortunately mediocre designers, who believe their own fashionable dress sense entitles them to open a store and call themselves 'designers', have flooded the market. A genuine designer wear tag in Dhaka is rare; minus a few well-reputed stores in town, a true deshi brand is hard to come by.

Usually with little training or formal fashion backgrounds to fall back on, these home-grown 'designers' all fall back on Bollywood for inspiration, and the same thought is repeated and recycled, so that what the stores are flooded with are poor imitations and style clones. While we appreciate the efforts at enterprise, we sincerely hope that our boutiques wake up and start thinking outside the box!

By Raffat Binte Rashid
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Photo Courtesy Cat's Eye

On The Cover

Cat's Eye, now celebrating twenty-eight years in fashion has made a niche for itself. It is a brand synonymous to urban, corporate fashion for men, with a bias for daring cuts, collars and colours. They have now reintroduced a ladies' line. Read through page 2 and 3 to learn more…

Photo courtesy Cat's Eye


Ponder
Neighbours

It is likely that the only time you meet and spend time with your neighbours is on the elevator! But hey, you can't be blamed for that, can you? After all, you've got a million things do; you always have quite a crazy schedule ahead. While perhaps you sometimes crave for a real friend to share things with, someone who can be really close to you; have you ever stopped to wonder perhaps a neighbour can provide that kind of support?

Given your hectic lifestyle, it is indeed hard to squeeze in some time for your neighbours. But a sure way to start interacting with them is on the elevator. Today, when you meet your neighbour, give him a smile and talk to him for a moment to get to know him better. A few journeys on the elevator will help you build an initial connection.

The rooftop is also one of the best places to hang around with your neighbours. If you are home and free in the evenings, even for ten minutes, or perhaps you just want to take a break from your work and have some fresh air, you can always ask some of your neighbour to come to the rooftop with you. Or, in the weekends you can go shopping with your neighbour and have a great time.

Always be tolerant and understanding. Yeah, maybe the kids living next door can be too loud, and you have the right to get annoyed with your neighbour for not having that simple common sense of keeping noises down in the middle of the night or in the lazy weekend afternoons while you are taking a nap; but just don't bother too much about it. Because, sometimes, the best way to a peaceful relationship is sacrifice and compromise from both ends. If you can't take it any longer and you need to tell your neighbour about it, be polite and subtle.

So, no matter how busy you are, try to manage a little time for the person living in the next door. It will make your life (and theirs) more enjoyable, pleasant and peaceful.

By M.H.Haider

 

 

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