Walking into the newest Zurhem showroom in the heart of Banani, one may feel like they have been transported to a sleek bachelor-pad located somewhere in New York. The luxury retail store greets its visitors with its captivating design, featuring dark panelling, black and gold accents and artistic details.
As a fashion brand, Zurhem started off with the belief of redefining the fashion scene in Dhaka. Brainchild of Mehruz Munir and Saadat Chowdhury, the label encompasses Prêt-à-Porter collections of international standards and an immaculate bespoke service.
“Zurhem embodies dynamism in fashion with a modern flair. It is very sophisticated, bold and masculine. Hence, right from the onset, we had decided that the new outlet would be an evocative of a stylish NYC bachelor pad that is luxurious and distinctly masculine in aesthetics”, explains Mehruz Munir.
The new store design is an attempt to uphold the brand’s value, making shopping an enthralling experience. “We did not want a space that resembled a typical clothing store but rather an atelier that celebrated both fashion and art,” says Saadat Chowdhury. “That is perhaps where we faced the biggest challenge.
While seeking for professional help, most designers were suggesting a minimal, rustic look.
We received good ideas, but it just wasn’t what we wanted. When we saw that no one understood our theme, we decided to take the work in our own hands.
And as we began working, there was no looking back.” he adds.
When the duo visited the site, they fell in love with it as it boasted an open space with large windows and spectacular view of the city; some key characteristics of a New York penthouse. They spent countless hours in researching and planning out the layout of the space.
After several trials and errors, the experimental atelier design came into being. Everything, starting from the interior, furniture, lighting, accents and artworks were handpicked to create a holistic experience for the visitors. “Albeit painful, the process was very enjoyable for us. Every day when we would come back and see the progress of the design, it would make us even more enthusiastic”, exclaims Mehruz.
The 2000 sq ft outlet eliminates any entrance doors so that the visitors can witness the stunning seating area at first glance. “We tried to create this space like a living room”, says Mehruz. A faux fireplace with a marble backdrop makes the focal point of this zone. A striking chandelier hangs over the seating area, which is outfitted with suede couches and metallic-and-brass tables.
Chunky displays and suspended metal clothing racks add up to the architectural understatement of the space. The space can be essentially divided into two sections- the ready-to-wear and bespoke. Even though black and gold compose the colour scheme, reflective glasses help to create an illusion of depth, making the space look larger.
During daytime, abundance of natural lighting is introduced inside the store while at night time, the floor lighting and chandeliers create a charming ambience. Most furniture, lighting fixtures and decorative accents were sourced from London, Guangzhou, Singapore etc. The marble, glass and brass finishing was done locally.
One remarkable aspect of the atelier is that it exhibits artworks and sculptures made by renowned Bangladeshi artists. Not only does it add an element of interest to the design, but it also helps to represent local artists to the audience. Artworks and sculptures by Bishwajit Goswami, Tayeba Begum Lipi, Promotes Das Pulok, Kabir Ahmed Masum Chisty, Ashim Halder Sagor, Joydev Roaja are displayed on the walls and tables of the outlet.
Much attention was given to the changing room that features a well lit interior with a gold embellished floor-to-ceiling mirror.
“People wear their Zurhem attire for the first time in the changing room. We made sure that they look their best at that time”, says Saadat. What truly sets Zurhem apart from other fashion labels in Dhaka is that it makes shopping an experience.
Explaining this, Mehruz says, “What we really want our clients to do is come in here, spend some time, relax, listen to the music, have a cup of coffee, enjoy the artwork. There are a lot of books here, read a book, and go through the catalogues. I mean, life is busy and hectic as it is. Just take it easy here!”