In a phone conversation with Maisha Tarannum Iqbal, Fashion Designer, Stylist & Choreographer Rakib Babu shared his thoughts on the effects of the recent pandemic on the Fashion industry.

Being one of the renowned fashion designers and stylists of the country and even working with the RMG sector so closely for years, celebrity fashion designer and stylist Rakib Babu shared his thoughts on the effects of the COVID crisis on the fashion industry.

How much the current situation has affected the Fashion industry of Bangladesh?

 The effects of the recent crisis on the fashion world are more intense than I can explain in words. In many years of my fashion career, I have never experienced such uncertainty. And the worst part is no one was prepared for it. We didn’t see this coming. Surely there was news going around about what was happening but none of us could actually understand how fast everything happened. Before even e could realize anything, the world around us was changed completely.

How promising was the Bangladesh fashion industry in 2020?

It is a matter of great pride that the fashion industry of our country grows each year. 2020 was also going down the same path. There were many emerging deshi fashion houses who were promoting our traditional materials and designs. New and talented designers and stylists were blooming. So it can be easily said that 2020 could have made history in the Bangladeshi fashion house if everything was going as per usual!

What were your plans for EID fashion before all of this started?

Eid is the biggest festival in our country. So undoubtedly we had major plans ready for the Eid 2020 collection. We even started different fashion campaigns with many fashion houses preparing for the coming Eid. However, as we all know how things took a turn! We all had to cut short of all the campaigns and now survival is the only thing on our minds.

How will Eid fashion be viewed during this lockdown in your opinion?

Of course, things will be very different. All the ideas and concepts that we had ready we can’t introduce them at the moment, but I’m delighted to see that many fashion houses, designers, and stylists are still working hard to bring the best Eid fashion to fashion enthusiasts even during the lockdown. I also did a small campaign for a leading fashion brand while maintaining a safe social distance couple of days back. Maybe we won’t be able to celebrate Eid like we do every year but it’s good to know that the pillars of the Bangladeshi fashion industry are keeping the spirit alive.

Do you think the upcoming fashion trends will be easily accepted by the masses after all of this is over?

In all honesty, this will be our biggest challenge after the pandemic is over. In a country where survival might be in question, I strongly feel being trendy won’t be the first priority for people who are coming out of quarantine. But this isn’t something that can’t be recovered! This too shall pass but for the fashion industry, it will take a bit longer than any other industry out there for sure. To fight with this crisis, I would request all the fashion brands of the country to keep in mind the economic crisis that all of us will face after all of this goes back to normal. People will probably not have the abundant luxury to splurge on expensive clothing. So if the designers and fashion houses all come together and create budget-friendly fashion for people then the recovery will be a lot faster than anticipated!

Any messages for our readers?

The Bangladeshi fashion industry is actually not that big if you compare it with that of any other country. Within the resources that we have, we always try to provide the best and trendy fashion to our customers. But during a time like this where everything is uncertain, I would like to request all our consumers to focus a little more on our deshi fashion and support local brands who are in dire need of your contribution. If every one of you stops spending an ample amount of money for western brands instead spend that for our local houses then it will surely help us get through this faster. Because remember, we are all in this together!