Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 61, Tuesday September 6, 2005




Shop Special

Shopping for bags at Shong

Ask any school or university going student and you can be assured that they will tell you that the most important accessory for them is undoubtedly their bag. The answer behind this is simple and logical. Who likes to carry around their books in their hands all day? And what with the current school curriculum - you can forget it. Carrying the books in a bag and then slinging it over your shoulder is a much more feasible alternative.

Therefore, the shoulder bag has evolved into the single most important part of a teenager's wardrobe. Lets not forget the office goers as well.

Also over the last decade or so carrying bags has become the 'in' thing. Slinging a bag over your shoulder and adjusting the straps to make it rest comfortably by your side has become a timeless fashion statement. In light of all this therefore, finding the perfect bag has become quite a conundrum. Not only does it have to be comfortable and big enough to carry your books, it also has to look good. While the comfort and the volume factor is easily taken care of, finding a bag that looks 'cool' provides a much-diversified challenge.

Enter Shahriar Rahman. Affectionately known to his peers as Apple, the young Shahriar works mainly in the theatre but says that he has always been captivated by the nuances of bag designs. He always thought that opportunity providing, it would be interesting to work to design a bag that would satisfy most of the fashionistas.

It was almost three years ago that Shahriar, taking time out from his busy theatre schedule, designed his first bag. Like most ventures, his did not get off to the most perfect of starts as he found it difficult to design a bag and then sell it within a reasonable amount of money that would be affordable by most of the people.

However, he struggled through the tough times. At his lowest ebb, he considered that designing and selling bags would never become a real career for him. At times like this Shahriar confesses that his friend Khaled Mahmud played an integral role in always inspiring and urging him on. Khaled kept telling his disgruntled friend that success was just around the corner. Failure is the pillar of success and the oft repeated cliché sums up Shahrier's efforts.

Apple spent hours with his friends trying to think of a design that would not only be attractive to the people but also allow him to at least make break-even. Suddenly, fate intervened. His friend Rony Ahmed came up with a design and both unanimously agreed that it would be a great hit.

It was also at this time that Apple stuck a deal with a factory in Hazaribagh that promised to produce the bags that he had designed. Grasping his chance with both hands Apple went to work feverishly and designed quite a few separate bags all under the banner of Dope. It was an instant hit, as the first installment was picked up by the public, in a matter of days. Apple went back to prepare a second wave and that too found huge favor with the public.

Apple concedes that in his design he tries to keep things as simple as possible and also whenever possible , in a Bangladeshi touch. He says it is important that the people who buy his bags know that it is being produced in Bangladesh by independent artisans. Therefore when you are buying the bag you are not only buying something for yourself but also indirectly contributing to your country.

Apple continues to produce bags not at a mass rate but enough to keep the people who buy it happy. His only marketing is word of mouth and thus it has taken a bit of time to catch on. However, they are an ingenious quantity and are worth checking out.

Apple's bags are available at Shong, which is located on the first floor of the Anam Rangs Plaza on Satmasjid Road, Dhanmondi.

By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam

Shop Talk

A fresh and healthy skin is the dream of any woman. Sometimes a face wash or soap is not enough to keep your skin clean. You need to spend a little more time and money to maintain a true glow on your face. Beauticians recommend astringent for women who go out a lot and who have oily skin. Use of a quality astringent after you wash your face would remove any residue left on your skin from the soap or cleanser. An astringent will help clear your pores and also remove dirt and oil. There are astringents of different brands available in the outlets of Priyo and Almas. If your skin is prone to pimples, they try out Clean & Clear's astringent for sensitive skin that also helps prevent pimples. Its tk390. A good astringent can sometimes be quite costly but remember that there are always a variety of brands to choose from.

Hand-painted bangles
Anything with a human touch is 'in'. The current rage of hand-embroidered dresses and terra-cotta accessories only establishes this fact. Jatra, which is known for its handcrafted collection, now has introduced hand-painted wooden bangles. These eye-catching, stylish bangles would fascinate any jewellery lover. With a variety of shades blended together, each bangle is unique in its own charm. If you pair one of these bangles with a fotua or a trendy cotton salwar suit you are sure to draw the attention of the people around you. Their stock runs out quite fast so go visit Jatra before it's too late. Each of these bangles will cost you tk.75.

Sometimes it's nearly impossible to trace the page of a novel that you were reading, unless you mark it with something. A bookmark is a handy item for every bookworm. The Banani outlet of Archies has brought out some cool magnetic bookmarks. With sweet verses of friendship written on top, these bookmarks could be an ideal gift for your friend who's a lover of fictions. Each of these bookmarks is priced at tk.30.

Cool Eye Colour
Want to give your eyes a dramatic look this evening? Then go for these fashionable eye shadows from Revlon. The theme of each of these mini- eye shadow cases varies from one other. There are even instructions given under each box, which would help you to create your own eye look. These crème eye shadows are great for formal occasions as well as for day-to-day affairs. So illuminate your eyes this fall with these cool shades from Revlon. Each of these boxes which contains four different shades will cost you about tk.350, and are available in all the big and well-known cosmetics stores of Dhaka. You can pay a quick visit to the outlets of Priyo and Almas for these fashionable eye shadows.

The word anklet has always been associated with metal. Anklet in the past meant a jewellery that is worn around the ankle and is almost all the time made from pure silver or sterling silver. However, the trend is changing. Anklets are nowadays made from thick threads and beads as well. If you pay a visit to Jatra, their stylish and colourful anklets made from threads will catch your attention for sure. The jingling of these unique anklets is sure to add fun to your life... Each pair will cost you tk.80.

By Wara Karim


Cut from the same cloth?

It is often said that a person's reaction to adversity brings out the true colours in him. Or as psychologists put it- sometimes the rules of human behaviour dissolve quickly in the face of desperate circumstances. Some rise to the occasion, while others fail disastrously, resorting to values and norms that they would probably never even had considered under normal circumstances.

Hurricane Katrina, which has over the past few days razed across the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi & Louisiana, was one such phenomenon where survivors recounted horrific cases of sexual assault and murder. While people starved to death, an unthinkable circumstance in the New World, there were widespread reports of murder and mayhem in the relief centers themselves.

Survivors recounted how people were literally left for dead and starved as rescue efforts concentrated on the French Quarter of the city apparently simply because that was where the higher ups of society lived. The poor, they felt were given the least amount of preference and this was the chief cause of the anarchy that reigned supreme over the last few days. Racism, also, apparently played a huge factor as survivors accused rescuer's of ignoring the coloured people in favour of providing aid to their fair skinned counterparts.

For once even President Bush had to admit failure saying, "The results are not acceptable." He went on to express unhappiness with the efforts so far to provide food and water to hurricane victims and to stop looting and lawlessness in New Orleans.

However, unthinkably that was not all. There were reports of women and children, raped until death and plots to murder amidst starving survivors. It all paints a harrowing tale indeed.

We were just wondering? In light of such tales, isn't it surprising how it's us Bangladeshi's who always get the stick?

- LS Desk



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