Having been a part of the company since his formative years, Fouzul Hameed, the current Managing Director of Hameedia has introduced the local home-grown men’s clothing brand to the international stage by building upon the legacy of his grand-uncle and father.
“My journey has been unique in every sense of the term. I am currently, a leading menswear consultant in Sri Lanka, dedicated to turning men into gentlemen.”
With decades worth of experience in the industry, Fouzul explained his philosophy when it came to persevering in the face of challenges. “What matters most to me is the quality of the product. In any given situation, we strive to please our client. In order to move forward we need to keep moving through challenge after challenge.”
Speaking of Hameedia’s journey to becoming a homegrown international brand, Fouzul said, “Hameedia was the brainchild of my grand uncle, who founded the organization in 1925. As time went by my father took over the business in 1949, and together with my uncles, he built up the business upon the solid foundation my grand uncle had left. It has been my great honor to add my contributions to the Hameedia legacy. Today, the 4th generation has joined the family business as well. Hameedia currently consists of 4 primary brands – Envoy, LeBond, Signature and FH. While Envoy and LeBond cater to the premium and upper-middle customer segment respectively, Signature is a mass market brand, and FH features stylish casualwear.”
“Our reach now extends as far as the United Kingdom, where we recently opened a store on Kensington High Street. There, we stand among the giants of the global Apparel industry. Further, we also have stores in the Maldives and Seychelles as well,” added Fouzul.
When questioned about how Hameedia ensures to keep up with the ever-changing trends in menswear, the fashion connoisseur replied, “We do a lot of research, while also visiting European countries such as Milan in order to survey the trending styles and search for means by which to incorporate these into the local market. Trends in fashion are constantly changing, as such, I make it a point to keep myself updated, so as to provide Sri Lankan men with the latest and high-quality apparel.”
Elaborating on the vital characteristics a local brand would need to assume a strong position in the global sphere, the Managing Director stated, “The vital points are product and quality. Additionally, in the case of Hameedia, our tailoring has also played a key role in making us a popular household name. We constantly strive to ensure that the fabric we use is of the highest standard on an international level. We do our best to make sure that the customer receives an elegant and comfortable product in the end. The fabric we use in tailoring enables us to compete with world renowned apparel brands such as Zara and Gucci.”
Of the manner in which Hameedia factors sustainability into its production process, Fouzul listed –
· Working on new technologies
· Recyclable materials
· New fabric designs
· Low wastage
· Maximum usage of fabrics
· Reputed fabric through quality certification
“In addition, we use 100% sustainable cotton, as well as 100% recyclable materials such as polyester and linen to reduce the landfill rate. We’ve also adopted the ‘Think Green’ concept for factory expansion as is used in foreign countries.”
“The Apparel sector has been severely impacted by the global lockdown brought on by the prevailing pandemic, especially in relation to the sourcing of fabrics, which has come to a halt. However, we at Hameedia, have taken corrective measures to improve the business. During the pandemic we refrained from job cuts and made sure that all our staff members would be able survive the tough times brought on by COVID-19. We made sure that job enhancement and empowerment were conducted carefully, and with due consideration towards our employees,” said Fouzul, describing the impact of the global lockdown upon the Sri Lankan Apparel industry, and the steps taken by Hameedia to ensure a quick recovery and preserve jobs.