To honour womanhood and raise awareness about how easily a woman's sense of identity is lost, fashion brand Warah recently launched a campaign called 'The Nameless Women' in collaboration with Wunderman Thompson.
The campaign was centred around how women, especially in rural areas, are often called by the name and relation they have with their father, husband, or child.
Rumana Chowdhury, the owner of Warah, explained how it was inspired by a conversation where she asked a woman named Sufia what her name was, and she replied with, "Sadia's mother." When Sufia was asked her own name, it took her a bit of time before she answered, "Sufia."
The successful campaign highlighted the artistry of Tangail sharis and worked with local weavers to distribute 55 sharis. However, this campaign was not something she had planned for a very long time but was actually something she decided to do spontaneously.
In fact, Warah's story begins with the same spontaneous energy in 2008. It started as an online shop which Rumana ran from home. She named her brand Warah, meaning 'bright,' after her son.
She did not exactly plan to launch Warah, but she certainly knew she wanted to create a brand she could call hers. From an early age, she was deeply inspired by magazines and encouraged by friends and family to pursue a career in the fashion industry.
Rumana faced her fair share of challenges when she decided to expand Warah to a physical store in Banani, one of the shopping hubs of Dhaka.
As a young female entrepreneur, she struggled to get a loan substantial enough to help launch Warah's first outlet. "Even after all these years, a woman has to have her father or husband as her guarantor to get a loan," she said.
However, all the hard work and determination have led to Warah's success today as a local premium brand. Now, people can recognise Warah's signature style from the ivory and off white tones, khadi fabric and flared, anarkali dresses.
Rumana said, "Ivory and subtle colours feel neat; they form the perfect canvas for me to do whatever I want to do."
Additionally, it took her three years to perfect their staple material. Today at Warah, they use three types of khadi material: a sheer and light one, a medium count and a thicker one.
Furthermore, Warah aims to cater to the aesthetics and culture of Bangladesh.
Rumana mentioned, "Whether it is through a shoot or a campaign, I always try to highlight the culture of Bangladesh." Oftentimes, she draws inspiration from local heritage sites while travelling, which manifest as motifs and designs in Warah's collections.
In the future, Rumana plans to expand Warah outside Dhaka, and even abroad. The Warah team even plans to do more social projects such as 'The Nameless Women' in the future.
Warah provides both casual wear and premium attire. The price of their casual wear collection ranges from Tk4,000 to Tk6,000, whereas the premium line starts from Tk10,000.
Where to find: You can find Warah through their website at https://www.warahbd.com/ or their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Warahdhaka, or you can visit their outlet in Banani.
Price: Tk4,000+ for their casual line and Tk10,000+ for their premium line.