The Story of Prose - Customizing Your Best Fits

For our August'21 Special Edition Fashion Spread we are showcasing "The Flavors of Fashion for Monsoon" in collaboration with 4 local design houses, the third one being Prose, a custom-tailoring clothing line based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Concept and Editor in Chief : Sarwat Zahin

Photographer : Syeda Mushda Ali

Model : Nodi Chowdhury

Outfits Sponsors : Prose

Prose goes by the tagline "Your wardrobe's elegance, our allegiance" which suggests their belief in infusing fashion with your personal taste on a piece of cloth, which makes you feel you comfortable and confident best. Afridah Ishrat Shahrin, the founder of Prose says "Prose is a clothing line that caters to all your needs for every occasion. It has a wide range of products - starting from traditional items like sarees to western items like jumpsuits and tops."

She adds "Keeping your comfort in mind, we customize every product as per your requirements. In Prose, you can actually select any size from our size chart or we can customise all the products to your perfect fit. Fun fact: you can also customise the design! You can make as many changes to the design as you want or you can give us your designs as well and we can customise it for you at a very affordable price, be it a saree or a dress. All our products are highly budget friendly and they are surely of high quality. Because quality tops our priority list."

Afridah describes the journey of Prose as a childhood dream that took shape as a quarantine project when she says, "When I was a kid, my mom used to make customised clothes for me and my sister, be it western or traditional outfits. So having grown up watching my mother as my inspiration, I’ve always wanted to open a clothing line of my own but I didn’t have enough time in my hands. But when we got stuck in quarantine, it gave me a lot of time to think about my ideas and basically we were stuck at home doing nothing so I thought, why not utilise the time?

I have been sleeping on this idea for a very long time and I realised if I didn’t start then, I would probably never start. Since I had to start somewhere, I started looking for names. And this one word “prose” hit me because I started with this idea that all my products will be simple but beautiful; and that’s how I like it: minimal but beautiful. So that's why I gave it the name, “Prose”. 2 days after I finalised the name, I opened an Instagram page named after it and hired someone to make a logo for it. And we started our journey in October 2020. After one long month of planning and execution, we performed our first photoshoot in November and after that we launched our first batch of products on 17th December, 2020."

Prose is currently a team of only 4 people. Afridah being the founder and lead designer, there are 2 investors: Galib, Nayla and our in-house tailor who customizes all the products. "Nayla has been a great support to me whenever I was losing hope. It's been a wonderful journey with this team so far," says Afridah.

Afridah is currently completing her higher education in Adamjee Cantonment College. When asked about the kind of effort that goes behind running the business being a young entrepreneur, she said, "To run a clothing line properly, there goes a lot of work behind it. Such as- communicating with the customers properly, ensuring their demands are met, posting and updating items that are new in stock, making sure to post regularly to increase our reach, sharing those in groups, designing new products, making sure we can come up with better creative ideas than the last stock, looking for inspirations, ensuring high quality fabrics, proper photoshoots that highlight our products better, etc. So, you can understand that a lot of effort and work goes into our products to make them beyond just satisfactory.

She added "When I started Prose, my family did not support it because they were very conservative and they didn’t like the idea of me focusing on anything else except my studies. I remember we used to fight a lot for this and the situation wasn't really that great. But the biggest achievement of my life and my brand has to be the day my father shared my post of my product, saying that he was proud of me. I didn't see it at first, then my father came and asked me if I saw it or not and then he told me he was proud of me. There, that very moment, I knew that it wasn't all for nothing.

As Prose grows bigger, the work and pressure seems to be increasing to an overwhelming limit. It's way beyond just a personal project now. It has been 8 months of rollercoaster ride with plenty of ups and downs. We especially got a huge amount of support from our customers who understand and encourage us. The few good feedbacks that makes you feel 1000 times better, them appreciating your hard work, them liking the quality and the product, these are what makes me work even harder. They are nothing less than blessings in my eyes."

When talking about her customers and the response to the past collections she said, "As Prose has been working with both traditional and western fashion, it caters to a wide range of customers starting from the age group of 18/19-30/40 year olds but mostly women."

She added "So far, Prose launched 3 drops and in the very first drop that was in December of 2020, we had sarees, velvet kurti and turtlenecks. That drop attracted a huge amount of support from people. It gave a unique start for us as we stayed true to our theme of having collections of both traditional and western items. Our second collection dropped in March 2021 and it comprised Silk and georgette shirts and blouses. This time we even brought men’s clothings- formal and casual shirts. The introduction to men’s fashion had a huge impact on where we are with Prose right now because this drop attracted a lot of new customers and followers on social media too.

And the third and the most beautiful, diverse, successful yet hectic collection had been dropped in July 2021 and we’re still dropping more products for this collection. It comprises floral tops, Peplum tops, summer chic outfits, everyday wear clothing that can give you a very elegant look as well as a casual look- you can wear it however you want to."

Afridah's future plans for the brand comprise of expanding the business overseas. On her last note she adds, "Not anytime soon but I plan on doing worldwide shipping and I want Prose to become an international and well recognised brand. Hopefully if things go as per plan, we can open a physical store soon. Prose is currently dealing with clothing items but I wish to include more items such as shoes and bags - basically for it will become a lifestyle line."