In conversation with Selina Nusrat, Chantilly

Under the starry skies of Cox’s Bazaar took place the very first fashion show on the beach. Of Shores, Sunsets & Beaches was indeed a revolutionary event. However, while the nuances of the beach did intrigue, it was the designers and their creations that were the true showstoppers. One of the two brands who co-hosted the event was Chantilly and their brilliant use of subtle colours left people mesmerized. We got the opportunity to sit and talk with the genius behind Chantilly, Selina Nusrat.

Behind her modest and humble demeanour lies a creative mind who can captivate audiences with intricate and elaborate designs. Nusrat’s journey began when she was just a child. Going back to childhood memories, she recalls how her chachi (paternal aunt) used to make all of their outfits growing up. “My chachi made all of our clothes and I remember sitting there and watching her. She could do it all and she taught me the art of embroidering. My maternal aunt was also skilled at tailoring”, recalls Nusrat. So you see, she knew all the tricks of the trade at an early age. By the fourth grade, Selina was cutting her own outfits, by the sixth grade she tailored her first suit. Despite of being a true prodigy in her field, Selina was also simultaneously working to build up a professional life. “You see, people usually don’t consider being a designer to be a credible job”, stated Selina. So she carried on with her studies and finished her MBA. She worked in Grindlays Bank and Standard Chartered bank for a few years before working in the British High Commission for a brief time. But despite her career, her love for designing never faded away. Her designs were displayed in Dhaka Fashion Week Bridal shows and she had her own brand of beaded shoes called “Made to order”. In 2010, she started another brand called “Matir Brand”. Selina was making quite the progress but it ended abruptly as she had to leave for England in 2011.

Of Shores, Sunsets & Beaches received an overwhelming response from the audience

Selina was absolutely distraught by the move but you know what they say, blessings come in all shapes and sizes. Selina made full use of her time in England by attending designing classes, further enhancing her skills and after returning to Dhaka, she launched Chantilly. The response was overwhelming! Selina’s first show titled “Timeless Love” simply swept everyone off their feet. The quality of her products are obviously top notch but the fact that they are all meticulously designed is what really makes them standout. “I put in a lot of attention to my work, all of my creations are characterised plenty of minute details”, she explained. After the success of the first show, Selina wanted to host another. She went to attend her uncle’s 50th marriage anniversary in Cox’s bazaar last year and that is where she got the inspiration for “Of Shores, Sunsets & Beaches”.

“I put in a lot of attention to my work, all of my creations are characterised plenty of minute details”

“The beauty and serenity of the sunset is what inspired me the most and that was evident in my collection. I only used one yellow dress which symbolised the beauty of the sun”, recalled Selina. Of course the event was a challenging one logistically but the efforts were worth it as it received a tremendous response and stellar reviews. Selina’s next challenge would obviously be to further build on her success. She dreams of opening a store soon through which she can reach out to her customers even more. “I really want to open a place where customers can come in and feel important. I want to provide them with a wholesome shopping experience.”, added Selina.

To keep up with Selina’s latest creations head over to Chantilly by Selina Nusrat.

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Irfan Aziz

Irfan Aziz is a Sub Editor of ICE Today magazine. He is a pug enthusiast who loves looking at memes, writing and sketching.