ARKA Fashion Week returns for its second edition 

  • May 11, 2024

Last year, ARKA Fashion Week, which took place between 26-28 Oct, 2023 took the city by storm. With a staggering footfall of over 7000 people, the event proved to be extremely popular, especially among the youth. Like last time, this initiative of ARKA Studio will once again reaffirm its commitment to providing equitable opportunities to all kinds of designers and brands. The overarching objective of ARKA Fashion Week is to see Bangladesh graduate from exporting garments to exporting fashion – to see Bangladeshi brands and retail labels add value in terms of culture export. ARKA believes that this evolution in our fashion and textile industry will help raise the stature of our nation and further improve our economy.

Moreover, ARKA Fashion Week is the perfect opportunity for everyone in Bangladesh to immerse themselves in fashion. The event will feature specially curated runway shows, clothes and accessories by the best brands and designers, and most importantly, the event is a place for fashion savvy individuals to express their own sense of style. As usual, ARKA FW will have a food zone and diverse musical performances every night, along with the following segments:  

MARKETPLACE 

This section, which is the heart of the event, will house entrepreneurs and brands which work with fashion, fashion accessories, and fashion related products, made in Bangladesh. A core philosophy to expect among the brands to be found in the Marketplace is sustainability. Most participants of ARKA Fashion Week Marketplace are small boutiques and/or e-commerce/f-commerce brands. As the exposure of these talented, local brands is limited, they have a certain disadvantage. ARKA Fashion Week hopes to bridge that gap and give a platform to these incredible, locally-grown brands. 

DESIGN LAB 

This is an interactive space where one can create their own designs. The concept is to walk in and purchase a ‘canvas’ i.e. products like a plain t-shirt, hat, tote bag or scarf, which can then be customized at any of the seven different design stations such as block printing, screen printing, hand-paint, patchwork, different forms of embellishments and appliqués, etc. This is a segment that any age group will enjoy participating in and can use to channel their creativity. Since it’s a design lab and not a workshop, anyone can come in at any time, buy a product and head over to the station to work on their design.

THE RUNWAY

With 4 slots each day, the runway will take place over 3 days, showcasing a variety of designers – new and upcoming, trailblazers and some exclusive designer brands. Curated by Azra Mahmood, Mehruz Munir, Nawshin Khair and Zarin Rashid, each of the participants of the runway were carefully selected and guided by the team. Perhaps one of the most anticipated segments of the event, the ARKA FW runway will not only be unique in terms of the designs being showcased on it; this time ARKA will also be presenting the finalists of a headhunt for new models to debut on the ARKA SS24 Runway. Moreover, the runway will also feature some students from design institutions in a cue curated by Afsana Ferdousi. 

EXHIBITION AND SEMINARS

In this edition of ARKA Fashion Week, a couple of new segments, workshops and seminars, will be introduced. ARKA FW wants to cover all aspects of fashion, including the challenges and issues faced by the industry. As a result, it seemed imperative to host some seminars to address some issues that are prevalent in the fashion industry of our country. Moreover, before the event takes place, ARKA FW is also facilitating an exhibition concerning Tangail weaving and ways to preserve the traditional art of handloom textile. Led by Tahsin N. Choudhury, Nawshin Khair, Sk. Saifur Rahman and Jewel A. Rob — the results of the workshop will be exhibited at ARKA FW SS24. The exhibition will be curated by Jewel A. Rob.