Q & A with Mifta Huda

In January of this year, Mifta Huda became collection manager for Bata Bangladesh, after working in a variety of roles since joining the company six-and-a-half years ago. He recently spoke to Bata World News to talk about his new job, and to give some style tips based on some of his own favorite looks.

What do you like most about your role?

I have to start with my team: young, full of life, passionate, energized, willing to learn and always raring to go! As we all share the same passion, I enjoy learning from this self-motivated lot, and improving personally each day.

I see shoes as a basic necessity for people, and yet also symbolic to their identity. Contributing toward making this necessity into something stylish, comfortable and affordable to our customers is a challenge I relish. It is a fast-paced market, and choices keep changing. Combining what sells with new fashions trends in order to build our collection is exciting!

How would you describe your own personal style?

I like to slip into loafers to elevate my casual outfit, paired with casual jeans in a dark wash, or matching casual shorts for the weekends. At work, I match a pair of smart trousers with full-sleeved shirts, and sometimes tastefully go for colored shirts to add some interest and personality to my formal look. A perfect example of my evening look for a formal program would be a midnight-blue suit, along with a plain white shirt and a narrow satin tie. I would accessorize it with a complementary watch, a dark leather belt, and a brown derby shoe to attempt a stylish look with an air of class.

What are the most important trends in terms of shoes and styles in Bangladesh at the moment?

Women are more into lighter colored chiffon and satin clothing with stone works. We complete their look with open-type sandals, embellished with sparkly sequins, beads and gems. Our popular color pallet consists of metallic colors from gold to silver, and deeper shimmery colors.

Men are embracing the smart-casual look with solid colors. This style is incomplete without a pair of contemporary shoes with perforated and textured uppers. Men prefer to wear dark-colored suits as formal evening attire, which is why there is a rise in demand for variations in brown to add contrast! The traditional Panjabi comes with a lot of variations nowadays, and for that men seek a sleek pair of sandals or even stylish shoes!

Could you give us some ideas for outfits to match with some of your favorite Bata shoes from the latest collection? (See images in gallery)

Fashionable sneakers: The model looks fresh and youthful in a lilac North Star sneaker with pink laces. She went for a floral pink trouser with a pale colored blouse, a style which adds up all the elements you need for a casual scene. You can head to the movies, or go out for coffee knowing that you are rocking the look.

Leather boots: The model is wearing a cream-colored Panjabi, an outfit that is considered the norm on the festive occasion of Eid. He is pairing it with leather boots, which shows the art of fusion dressing, a growing trend in our country that intensifies the look for style-minded men of today.

How is Bata’s new manifesto "Me & Comfortable with it" affecting your approach to new collections?

We want all our customers to feel cool, stylish, comfortable and confident in our shoes. All new collections are developed with Bata’s new manifesto in mind. We put great effort into the launching of our new collections. For example, the Insolia launch has had a strong impact on our customers, as seen in our results. We communicated its launch in the media, were active on social media, prepped our sales teams regarding its features, and implemented very attractive windows to catch customer attention.

What do you think is important in helping customers, especially women, to feel comfortable with themselves?

In our latest TV commercial, inspired by the mixed culture in Bangladesh, we have added the essence of ‘comfortable in her own style and shoes.’ We highlighted that, whether a woman likes to wear western attire or likes to stay ethnic, the right shoe for her is at Bata. We followed the latest trends and worked on ranges to make great shoes that will make women proud and build self-confidence.

What future trends are you most excited about in your region? What would you like to see become popular?

We are expecting to see the latest trend of pumps in metallic heels and bags with metallic chains and retro buckles become popular. Also, high-heels to ballet flats in patent leather and velvet finish with studs have potential in our market, as these match traditional outfits in the upcoming wedding season, where women like to wear embellished clothes in trending colors.

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