By Ajla Omerhodzic
'Bosnian Kingdom Clothing', launched in Sarajevo in 2012, has become a popular B&H clothing brand that attracts a lot of attention both of local citizens and tourists. Namely, the clothing is inspired by the most prosperous era in the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina – the medieval era of the Bosnian Kingdom – and, as such, the symbols and motifs incorporated into the clothing have helped to develop the brand into original and comfortable apparel, as well as unique souvenirs for the tourists to take home with them. The brand was founded by Vedad Kicevic and Faris Niksic, with the aim to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina through the Bosnian Kingdom motifs on urban clothing for all generations. The brand was initially intended for men only, but after years of successful operation and development, collections for women and children were introduced in August 2018. The products available in ‘Bosnian Kingdom Clothing’ collections include shirts, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, track suits, and shorts. The latest addition to the brand’s offer includes three new products: paracord bracelets, caps, and phone cases with the Bosnian Kingdom-inspired elements.
Speaking for Pulse.ba on behalf of the brand founders, Niksic stated that ‘Bosnian Kingdom Clothing’ was just a hobby at first, which provided its founders with an alternative source of income, but today it has reached the level of a recognizable brand in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “We can say that it has encountered huge success. The idea emerged as a manifestation of patriotism, i.e. the love for our homeland. The fact that Bosnia as an independent state was at its peak in the period of the Bosnian Kingdom gave us the inspiration to transfer motifs from that period into garments that would ultimately enhance the national awareness of people. It is intended for everyone wanting to preserve and promote history and the culture of this country”, explained Niksic. Furthermore, Niksic said that they are pleased to see that people have accepted the idea of this brand quite well, which was a motivation to further engage into its expansion and contact the best B&H athletes, who would then promote the brand in their own way. The co-founder pointed out that “the positive influence of our best athletes matched ideally with the idea of the brand”, due to which B&H basketball player Mirza Teletovic was the first athlete who decided to help in promoting it. “Teletovic literally dropped his bags after a training and, when asked if he would take a photo in our T-shirt, he enthusiastically agreed and said he would do anything for Bosnia. After him, Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic, Muhamed Besic, Damir Dzumhur, Dzanan Musa, and others joined in, as well. Patriotism takes an important place in the humans’ form of life. I think it takes most important place in the lives of Bosnians and Herzegovinians”, the co-founder added. Niksic mentioned that B&H citizens, both those residing in this country and abroad, are the most avid buyers of ‘Bosnian Kingdom Clothing’, nevertheless, the foreign citizens opt for buying these garments when visiting the shop or while exploring this country’s rich culture. Niksic emphasized that the B&H diaspora is doing an outstanding job when it comes to promoting the country’s culture, generating national awareness and – through promotion – these products ultimately reach people of different nationalities. Niksic noted that ‘Bosnian Kingdom Clothing’ team will remain committed to the constant tendency to grow, in order for the brand to keep developing on a wider, regional scale. At that respect, he announced future work on expanding the production facilities, opening a new shop in another B&H town besides its headquarters in the capital city, and hiring new workers.
The motifs and symbols included in the ‘Bosnian Kingdom Clothing’ products are closely related to the period of reign of King Tvrtko I Kotromanic and other rulers from the Bosnian Kingdom era. Among these elements are the coat of arms of Tvrtko I Kotromanic, variations of lilies as a symbol incorporated into the coat of arms, the Charter of Kulin Ban, the motives of medieval tombstones known as ‘stecak’, and the Bosnian Cyrillic script ‘Bosancica’.
Some of the most common motifs on ‘Bosnian Kingdom Clothing’ apparel are particularly connected to the reign of Tvrtko I Kotromanic, the most prominent and most successful ruler of Bosnia who actually turned his country into a kingdom and left a powerful and stable state to his successors that did not collapse amid attacks of strong countries and empires for a long time. When it comes to the historical aspect and the brand’s focus on the country’s most glorious era, the Bosnian Kingdom is perceived as one of the most interesting epochs of the state development, in which Bosnia had its own language, script, and customs. In his book ‘The Bosnian Kingdom’ representing a comprehensive account of the medieval Bosnian state, historian Dr. Emir O. Filipovic described the period of the developed Middle Ages for Bosnia as “a period of political and economic progress, social flourishing, and cultural upswing” during which Bosnia was a specific state, with its special church and religious organization, but at the same time a full-fledged participant in the wider political and cultural events of the world that surrounded it. The fact that the Bosnian Kingdom era was an age when Bosnia by no means lagged behind the civilization of that time can be seen in a specific description in the same book saying that “many forts and towns sprang from its soil – merged and intersected by the extensive trade routes, along which the richest mining fruits of the Bosnian land were carried”.
The clothing items of ‘Bosnian Kingdom Clothing’ are manufactured in Sarajevo and the material mainly used in production is a 100% combed cotton, although some of the products contain a combination of polyester and cotton. The brand sets its prices in accordance with the cost of production and the standard of prices for clothing in retail, whilst trying to match them to fit the budget of every social class. ‘Bosnian Kingdom Clothing’ sells its products in a store located at the Mula Mustafe Baseskije 27 Street, Sarajevo, and online via social networks Facebook and Instagram.