In conversation with the creative minds behind ZOAN ASH
ZOAN ASH is often celebrated as the brand that catapulted Bangladesh’s fashion onto the international stage. What have been the brand’s greatest strengths?
My belief is that business-wise, there is strength in differentiation– offering what others haven’t, and doing it with calibre. In the initial stages of ZOAN ASH, I utilised Bangladesh’s heritage fabrics, which were thought to be obsolete, conflating them with creative designs, intricate hand sequencing, and western silhouettes. This combination of elements moulded unique and engaging pieces that allowed ZOAN ASH to participate in New York Fashion Week. As the brand garnered international recognition, we became more confident in our ideas and continued working to form high-quality, differentiated products. So, I consider ZOAN ASH’s greatest strength to be the product since it carries a unique fusion of Western and Desi fashions, and consistently maintains its quality.
From being a doctor to leading one of the top fashion brands originating from Bangladesh, your career trajectory has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. What’s your secret to maintaining a path of succeeding upward?
In reality, there is no secret. Succeeding upwards is about channelling a spirit of entrepreneurship, as it enables someone to work hard at what they want without fear of failure holding them back. I like to think that if I fail, I am not ‘starting from scratch,’ instead, I am starting from experience– learning from my mistakes. To capture this mindset, there has to be a relentlessness, a desire so intense it cannot be silenced. Often, I’ve seen that women neglect their dreams as their families start to grow and pressure consumes them, but it is so important to also distribute time towards nurturing a passion. Sometimes this calls for multitasking, and though it may seem impossible: it is not. You can make it happen, even when it is hard to believe.
What inspired you to pursue a career in fashion? Could you please talk us through your creative process?
Zaina Adeeva Haque:
My journey with fashion began very early on, largely due to the influence of my parents. Their inspirational story made me compelled by the creative realm- eager to learn as much as I could about the passion that united my mother and father. Once I began immersing myself in the field, delving into colour seasons, creating stylish marketing mixes, and working under ZOAN ASH, I realized that I truly love fashion. Since then, my career path has been clear to me.
How would you define fashion?
Zaina Adeeva Haque
Fashion is a visual expression of who you are, how you feel, and where you come from. Fashion is also always steered by a feeling of empowerment and confidence, in my interpretation of the word.