For quite some time now, there has been a lot of talk about the sustainable, luxury, ethnic-brand House of Ahmed. Today we’re going to look into how this premium ethnic house has been dominating the fashion industry and how they not only survived but managed to thrive during this pandemic.
Since House of Ahmed’s launch, in its first year, it garnered much attention and quickly grabbed the focus of a rising, luxury ethnic couture house in the Bangladesh fashion scene. In its second year, like all other retail companies and brands, the pandemic struck and the business faced much difficulty. They had just produced the Eid Collection with much investment and commitment from most of their raw materials in stock, for their new collection. As House of Ahmed was preparing for the Eid Launch, due to the sudden pandemic declaration, they made quick and fast paced decisions to revise their business strategies and plans, to ensure safe shopping mechanisms for their clients. Moreover, they also used only 50% of their purchased raw materials for the Eid Collections, and used it in different places. Mostly for their online markets on Facebook and Instagram, e-commerce platforms, as HOA wanted the shopping procedures to be as safe as possible, as well as produce what was a necessity from their production capacity.
House of Ahmed LTD also introduced the concept of “Trunk Show” where they would send a trunk of their latest collections to clients to purchase all in the safe space of their homes. In terms of serving the customers, HOA definitely took many strategic calls door-to-door, even though they are in the game of niche markets. A strategic call, marketing wise, was also to hold their Eid shoot in the first week of February, right before the lockdown was declared, which ensured their clients everywhere would be able to have a peek into their Eid collections from home and simply place an order online.
In that regard, House of Ahmed LTD has always been a brand that’s been a vocal advocate for Bangladeshi artisans, since its initiation as well as while promoting sustainable fashion which are all made in Bangladesh. The founders of House of Ahmed have always held priority regarding changing the lives of artisans first and foremost. Ensuring the betterment, enrichment and preservation of artisans and their creativity. So much so, that House of Ahmed made sure to not dismiss any of their employees during the pandemic, whereas many other fashion labels have done so. Along with that, they made sure that a lot of their employees received maternal, paternal and other kinds of benefits and bonuses. House of Ahmed pursued a major charitable project during the pandemic, Project “Ray of Hope”, which helped to raise Tk50 lacs, to provide groceries to 200 artisans and their families for 5 months.
Moreover, House of Ahmed has recently made Bibi Russell, UNESCO award winner and Bangladesh National Award winner, the new honorary director of House of Ahmed -- a fashion revolutionary who was one of the first to showcase the Bangladeshi fashion industry globally. Bibi Russell being a strong advocate for “Fashion for Development" and sustainability through Bibi Productions, seemed to be the perfect fit for House of Ahmed in terms of merging older fashion icons with new up and trending fashion labels such as House of Ahmed.
The co-founders and chief operation officer of House of Ahmed, Tanzila Elma, has been a much needed role model for the fashion industry as to how she designs, operates, markets and makes fast paced decisions about the company. Managing her two sons as well as House of Ahmed can often be tedious, but she has always been passionate about uplifting and preserving the artisans and their talent and hopes to soon showcase it on a global level. Sustainability along with increasing production capacity, with the right marketing campaigns to engage the audience enough to purchase from a Bangladeshi luxury ethnic fashion house rather than going abroad to purchase is something that Tanzila has been trying to change and revolutionize. In conversation, she states: “For me, Made in Bangladesh is a label I hold really dear to me, with strong beliefs. I believe that the artisans are the heart of House of Ahmed and we must ensure better standards of living for them and to also push their creative boundaries enough to make sure we can stand a chance to compete globally with true Bangladesh heritage couture attires abroad. I’m very privileged to bring Bibi Russell with us on board, to make sure we can really set and execute this ideal and ensure preservation of Bangladeshi artisanal talent. Even though the pandemic is still here, we’ve managed to not only survive but make enough revenue to take care of the artisans instead of leaving them at a time of despair. We’ve actually come up with better and better designs, and the quality and hardwork is very evident in our attires, hence our loyal clients - - or as we like to call them, our HOA family -- have kept coming back to House of Ahmed, for which I am very humble and grateful.”