The Way Out

Zurhem is a Bangladeshi luxury fashion brand, founded in 2015 by its Creative Director, Mehruz Munir and its Chairman Saadat Chowdhury. Zurhem currently operates two ateliers in Dhaka – in Banani and at InterContinental Dhaka. Since its inception, Zurhem has gained the recognition as the finest suit-maker in the country through the use of Italian bespoke techniques, German horsehair interlining, and the best quality Superwool fabric from upscale mills such as Zegna, Cerruti, Piacenza, Holland & Sherry and the likes. Zurhem’s clientele includes fashion-forward individuals who appreciate rich quality and artistic designs. Representing Bangladesh on a global platform, Zurhem made evening gowns for Miss Universe Bangladesh and also for the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). Currently, in its fourth year, Zurhem employs about 100 workers including members of the transgendered community.

Saadat Chowdhury
Chairman of Zurhem

Since 2016, Zurhem has been holding grand fashion shows and events, in association with BMW and British American Tobacco. In 2017, the brand became the first from Bangladesh to be featured in Forbes US and in 2019, Munir received “The Best International Designer” award from the British-Bangladeshi Fashion Council.

“2020 will be an extremely challenging year for us,” says Saadat Chowdhury, “Fashion has come to a near standstill amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, especially for niche brands like ours. Both our stores are shut, so those businesses are zero. We are working remotely trying to keep our design and production process moving along keeping the Eid festivals in mind. We’re not making any long-term financial commitments until we have visibility around what the economic situation looks like. In China, we saw how long it took for them to recover and reopen. It gives us some idea of what to expect. Even though we plan to pay salaries to all workers and employees for the next three months, it is also an opportunity for us to be a little leaner, to be more focused – figure out who our key team players are, who can help us grow. We are also focusing to shift into digital gear and boost online sales.”

“This is a disruption on a global level that we’ve never seen before. While we delay our plans of setting up a bigger factory to manufacture and export value-added designer items for private labels all over the world, we also request the government and banks to help us survive until all of this is over because hopefully fashion will pick up again and people will have a renewed interest supporting brands they love.”