Mahmudul Hasan is a legendary personality enriching fashion and lifestyle clothing in Bangladesh. Formerly he was a corporate personality. With no formal knowledge in fashion designing, he brought out tremendous change in fashion designing by opening his dream project Menz Klub which attracted students and corporate world within a few days of inauguration due to its individuality in design and style. This legendary fashion personality had an interview with The Pages regarding his beginning days to future planning.
Please let us know the brief history of Menz Club. Why did you establish such famous clothing line?
Mahmudul Helal: We have started our journey on 24th September, 2001. Before that I was in corporate service. When I was in service, I found that it isvery difficult to get fashionable clothing in our country. If I wish to get some fashion wear which was imported from Thailand. But mostly of those were copies of different brands. So before starting Menz Klub, I was working in a multinational company. I was involved with tree plantation. In different occasion, we found that design and life style clothing are very poor as well as no Bangladeshi brands are there. All the brands are foreign. When I left the job, I came to think why do I not starting a brand which would be available for the corporate office and corporate people. So they can use it. Since I’m from a corporate world, I knew the corporate dresses and corporate colors as well as I was very stylish from my boyhood. That’s the reason I think to open a fashion clothing line. I told my wife to start a business. What would be the fate of it, I don’t know yet. If you can look after us, handle our family and daily life style, I can gamble with a new business. She said, she can carry on our daily life. Then I started business, I didn’t know nothing about it. From the beginning of my business, we thought if we can sale ten thousand take per day, it would be enough for us. It was also a blessings for us that we fulfilled our initial target. I thought of branding that my shop should be different from others. I started decorating my shop in my own way. That is how I started branding my shop. Same year in 25th of December, we opened another shop in Rifles Square. In past 16 years, we’ve now 23 outlets. More than 300 people and two hundred machines are working in our factory. Formerly I had conception about fashion designing. I came to see different types of magazines, falling trends of the world and design my dresses. This is the early stories of us.
Is there any role of fashion clothing line enriching RMG sector?
Mahmudul Helal: Actually I think there is no role of fashion clothing line enriching RMG sector. Fashion is a different thing which I consider how does anyone can portrait oneself? I.e. a Bawl or a nomad and that is the fashion of him. An intellectual wants to show him in different way, he uses different types of shirts whatever it is. We work on corporate and young students and we’re following their trends. Here in Bangladesh, corporate people likes to wear traditional dresses and as well as students prefer experiments with fashion. So we’re not working on any individual fashion.We’re working here in a commercial way. What the major portion of people following and we’re trying to give that fashion. As a fashion designer my duty is to create fashion and penetrate my customers.
We’re producing products for many international brands whereas fashion brands aren’t so recognized internationally, why?
Mahmudul Helal: It’s a very good question. First of all if we consider a child, first a child tries to stand and then he walks. World’s fashion movement started more than hundred years ago or close to hundred years and we are in this state only sixteen years. Our oldest fashion house may be maximum thirty years old. So it is very short span of time. We need some more time. Because already people are buying or different brand is making their product in our country. So naturally if we get the time and if we get the publicity, so obviously we are also penetrating their country. Because this is a long chain they are following but if we make it here and if we sell to their country our product cost will be very less than their product cost. It will be very cheap in compare to their cost. The quality will be same. I think all the fashion houses are doing very good at this time. Just I can give you an example Bangladesh cricket team are doing very good within a short span of time. So give us some time you will see that our brand will be in the different part of the world.
We always notice that Menz Club maintains design individuality, what steps do you follow that makes your brand outstanding one?
MahmudulHelal: It’s a good question. Every human being wants to be different. So we have to consider this one. When we are designing I don’t know another person like it or not. It is not my choice. That time I think we must design as per his choice. Then we create different types of design to introduce people or to encourage people with different types of style.
How do you use the term ‘Fusion’ during design?
MahmudulHelal:Designers used to follow the world. What’s the trend, what’s the color are now using. Particularly trend and color is the most important thing we follow. Another important thing is that what sort of fabrics is used. In Bangladesh, we are using absolutely cotton. Because it is comfortable for our weather. Mostly European country or other foreign countries used blended fabrics. Because the cost is less. They don’t need iron. But in our country this sort of fabrics is not suitable. That’s why we have to consider the material, we have to consider the color as per weather and we have to consider the human being choice. Most of the dark people doesn’t want to wear dark dress. But I think dark dress will be much better. We are taking western color and fashion and implementing due to our country with our fabrics.
How do you maintain brand individuality?
MahmudulHelal:So this is the most important part for the brand. Each and every brand have got their designers, they have got their style everything. So each and every man will get the individuality.Another thing through your business, through your feedback from the market you know that by that time Bangladesh have many brands. Every brand is individual. From the feedback we just know that product are selling much more. We also came to know that what color are people like. We take this from our individual shop. That’s why we are different from others and we don’t copy from other brand.
Do you have any plan to launch internationally?
MahmudulHelal:Yes we’ve. Some of the people are also knocking us. But problem is that any sort of business is commercial. It is money related. Many people are approaching us but terms and conditions aren’t suiting us. When it will be suitable, we’ll obviously launch internationally.
Your future plan with Menz Club.
MahmudulHelal:Future plan is that we want to open our shop in every district. We want to reach our country because there is a vast population. If we can touch a key portion, it will be a huge business.