Bangladesh-based fashion brand Kino is striving to bring to the market, high-quality apparel products that are also stylish, while being easy on the pockets of the customers.
Derived from the Bengali language, the brand name Kino translates to ‘to purchase’ in Bangla, which promises to offer clothing with a twist and artistic touch to customers consisting of university graduates and young working professionals aged between 20 to 35 years.
Established in 2019, the brand offers a wide variety of products under womenswear and menswear priced between 400 BDT to 2,450 BDT. The clothes are very affordable and are usually cheaper as compared to other brands in the market, due to the company’s ability to tackle other costs owing to its solely e-commerce-based operations.
To elaborate, Kino offers ladies products that include Tops (Price – 1,150 BDT); Long dresses (Price – 1,360 BDT); Pants (Price – 961 BDT); Kameez (Price – 1,450 BDT); Abaya (Price – 2,200 BDT); Jumpsuits (Price – 2,450 BDT); Co-ord sets (Price – 1,800 BDT); Sweat tops (Price – 1,050 BDT); Hoodies (Price – 1,400 BDT); Joggers (Price – 1,000 BDT); Lightweight jackets (Price – 950 BDT); Winter co-ord sets (Price – 1,700 BDT). Its men’s products include Shirts (Price – 1,100 BDT); Pants (Price – 1,700 BDT); Shorts (Price – 500 BDT); T-shirts (Price – 600 BDT); Polo shirts (Price – 720 BDT); Panjabi (Price – 1,260 BDT); Pajama pants (Price – 400 BDT); Sweatshirts (Price – 1,150 BDT); Joggers (Price – 1,000 BDT); Hoodies (Price – 850 BDT); and Winter co-ord sets (Price – 1,800 BDT).
A graduate of Diploma in Fashion Design from the Toronto Film School, along with a degree in Financial and Business Economics, the Founder and CEO of the company, Zarin Rashid, has experience of leading the R&D Department at TRZ Garments, besides being professionally involved with the garment industry of Bangladesh.
“We design unique products that are not available elsewhere in the local market. The pieces are always limited, which means that, once they’re sold out, we don’t restock. This further helps us to control the leftover stock we have later,” Zarin Rashid, Founder of Kino told Apparel Resources (AR) in an exclusive interview.
Steering Kino towards a more sustainable future with options of recycled clothing, Zarin aims to tackle fashion’s problems concerning sustainability right at the root. For now, every style that is launched is done so in limited quantities, allowing customers to always have something new to add to their wardrobes.
Zarin helps us understand how this up-and-coming label is capturing Bangladesh’s sought-after market share by championing quality, while at the same time, addressing one of consumers’ most troubling woes aka price.
Read on to discover.
AR: What are the details, embroidery techniques, etc., that make your pieces stand out in the market?
ZR: In case of details, we always create our own patterns/prints for embroidery. This helps us to stand out and have that upper hand when it comes to other products in the market. We also focus on adding a special technique to each product so that it speaks for itself. We always want clients to trust and spend on the products without worrying about style/quality.
AR: What are the main materials/fabrics you work with – is it outsourced or created by you, or a mix of both? What are the hubs (both local and international) that you prefer for sourcing your raw materials/hardware and fabrics from?
ZR: We usually work with a lot of cotton and linens due to the weather in Bangladesh and keeping comfort in mind. They are mostly sourced locally as we want everything to be from the country itself since we want to stay true to our roots of being ‘Made in Bangladesh’. We source all our fabrics from Islampur and New Market. For more exclusive ones, Banani Market is also an option. Kino’s production and manufacturing are done entirely in-house at the brand’s own manufacturing unit located in Gazipur.
AR: How many collections do you come out with in a year – is the line season-based, drop-based, edition-based?
ZR: We base our collections according to the seasons in the world and abroad. We follow the international standard the most and then we add the traditional occasions we have.
In terms of collections, we launch Summer, Eid ul Azha, Eid ul Fitr, Autumn/Winter, Pohela Boishakh, Valentine’s Day collections and we have also recently introduced custom-made clothing services for our customers.
AR: How often do you replenish your stock online and in-store?
ZR: We usually don’t replenish as we follow a very strict guideline on ‘what gets sold out is done’. We don’t replenish in order to promote exclusivity and urge clients to be quick on their purchases before the products are gone.
Kino’s products are available to purchase online on the brand’s own e-commerce website www.kino19.net and the brand also delivers its products nationally throughout Bangladesh.
AR: What are your future plans for the label in terms of expansion and product drops?
ZR: We plan to make Kino a one-stop solution for all fashion-related needs under one roof, and to stay online-based, having a cool store just for display purposes and trials. In terms of expansion, we want to go international soon and keep adding more and more choices that enable the brand to stand out in the market.
AR: What are the sustainable and ethical practices that you integrate in designing as well as in production at Kino and how do you implement these?
ZR: We don’t produce more than just the sample pieces. This helps everyone in the team stay alert for their particular role in the process and to help clients receive their order in 2-3 days after they place the order with delivery promised. In production, we only avail fabric based on what the designs tell us from our own market research. We reuse the fabrics right after for the next collection, so nothing goes to waste or is left in stock. All our products are also sold on discount in a separate section we have, so it’s all integrated accordingly.
AR: What according to you is driving consumption and purchasing in the Bangladesh fashion market? What are the consumers looking for?
ZR: Consumers are constantly on the lookout for what’s in style worldwide. They want it now and in an affordable range so that they can keep up with the trend and dispose it of when the next big thing comes up.
AR: Kino places a lot of importance on providing a superior service to everyone but at an affordable price – how do you achieve this and how does this make you stand out from your peers in the market?
ZR: We always believe in quality over quantity. This is the motto we have followed since Day-1 and we can proudly say that our client satisfaction is over 98 per cent after delivery. We try to keep our clients happy and give them a good experience online as that’s the only form of communication we get.
AR: What are the future trends that you predict will be big in the coming seasons across both fashion garments and accessory segments?
ZR: I think that the future is following in the steps of sustainability. Brands that will be able to promote the same via both their designs and practices, will be the ones that gain the most traffic. With the world moving in a certain direction, I believe we already see that change coming into play for the garment manufacturers as well.