Raisa Rahim uncovers the inspiration behind Shahzaman Mozumder’s Fashion blog ‘Kingofdhaka’ in 30 questions.
Sixteen is a time of learning, making mistakes and learning from the highs and lows of life. But fate had other plans for Shahzaman Mozumder. At sixteen, he became a freedom fighter, earning the title of Bir Protik. Soon after the liberation war was over in 1980, he became a successful professional in the IT sector and has since been managing an IT company of about 200 people. Today he runs a fashion blog ‘kingofdhaka,’ showcasing his fashionable lineup of suits and styles for the fashion enthusiasts.
What made you start blogging?
I wanted to discuss style through dressing and grooming in order to set a positive example for the youth.
Your favourite fashion magazine is?
What are some of your current fashion obsessions?
I love shoes and like to collect old watches.
Favourite 90s TV show?
Name your Top 3 favourite bands.
The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and The Rolling Stones
Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn?
The sublime charm of Audrey Hepburn
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken,” by Oscar Wilde
Your area of strengths in blogging?
My deep interest in men’s semi-formal dressing helped me gain confidence. I have been interested in fashion since childhood.
How would you describe your blogging style?
I think it’s simple, straight and courageous.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
After breakfast, I decide what to wear that particular day.
I try to follow a pattern: First four days of the week, I wear a suit to work. The last day of the week I wear a combination of the blazer (or sports jacket) and odd trousers. This process including any requires ironing and shoe polishing, which I do on my own, takes about 30 minutes.
The best things about Bangladeshi labels are?
To be honest I am not an expert on Bangladeshi labels. These days, except for my shoes, socks, and underclothing, everything else is custom made.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Although I have quit smoking, I still cannot forget the satisfaction of smoking good Havana cigars.
What is your favourite place to travel and why?
Though I enjoy travelling, I don’t like to visit the same place twice. This is because the world is so big that I am intrigued to travel to different places.
What does the name of your blog signify?
My name is Shahzaman, which in Persian means “King of Time.” I wanted to name my blog www.kingoftime.com, but unfortunately, that name was already taken. So, I thought, why not use a catchy name like ‘kingofdhaka?’
Any significant memory from the liberation war that you’d like to share with us?
Yes, too many and some are very painful. I have written a book titled Guerrilla on my 1971 experience as a freedom fighter. The book is written in English and published by Daily Star Books. One can also order the book through www.rokomari.com.
What do you prefer between cotton and cashmere for formal pants?
I think formal pants look better in good quality wool. But, very high quality cotton can also work. The season is also an important consideration in the selection process.
Your favourite brand of watch?
I collect antique wrist and pocket watches. I am particularly interested in collecting those mechanical watches that are extinct due to the invasion of cheap Quartz watches in the 70s.
Best fashion advice which helped build your style?
Firstly, I believe that manners are far more important than good clothes. One cannot be considered well dressed without proper manners. And secondly, you need a lot of courage to carry your own style.
Which type of lapels do you prefer?
I think I have a preference for peaked lapels, though my suits with notch lapels probably outnumber those with peaked lapels.
According to you, what is the difference between style and fashion?
Fashion is something that is imposed on you, and style is something that you create. Fashion is a fleeting phenomenon while style is a more durable and personal interpretation of fashion.
What fashion staples can we find in your wardrobe?
I don’t follow fashion cycles. Almost all my wardrobe consists of items which can be considered ‘fashion staples.’ It is easy to achieve if you focus on only those items of fashion that complement your physique, height, complexion, skin tone, hair colour, personality, etc. However, it’s also necessary to put the current fashion paradigm in perspective so that one does not become a relic.
If you had to describe 2016 in one sentence, what would you say?
2016 has been a very interesting year, particularly after the election of Donald J Trump as the US president.
If someone wrote a book about your life in 2014, which genre would it fall under?
It will probably fall under more than one genre because life is after all a medley of love, hate, comedy, drama, thrill and sorrow.
What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?
‘The Matrix,’ has changed the way I think about life.
What was the most heartfelt compliment you received this year?
The best compliment was when someone told me after reading my book Guerrilla: “Reading it felt like I was with you throughout the 1971 journey.”
Name one experience you would love to go through all over again?
You see in 1971, I was between the age of 15 and 16. During the war, I made many mistakes. Once again I want to go through the same experience except this time I will avoid making the mistakes I made before.
What piece of fashion advice would you give to your teenage self?
Buy quality and not quantity.
Double breasted or single breasted suits?
Both, if you are tall. Single breasted if you are of short stature.
Oxfords or Derby shoes?
In England, one wears only Oxfords with formal suits, while Americans call both Oxfords and Derby Oxfords and wear both types with suits. In England Derbies are worn with blazer (or sports jacket) and odd trousers combinations.
What kind of tie knot do you prefer at work/ special occasion?
I find a simple ‘four in hand’ most appropriate for daily use. I sometimes use a half-Windsor, or a Windsor, or a Shelby knot. I hardly use any other tie knots.