Bibi Russel - The Face of Bangladesh- A Pretty Face with Beautiful Heart. The fashion queen of gamchha. Sincere Respect HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY

Whose thoughts, consciousness and the whole entity is only Bangladesh. The designer who put Bangladesh on the global fashion map.

Sincere respect to BibiRussell on International Women's Day 

Gamchha sharee-bibi production 

Unique Woman with distinguished characteristics - The original Champion of sustainable fashion, fashion puddler,  the fashion queen of gamchha, 
art ammbassador, former international super model, dreamer, inspiration,  women's power, positive energy with positive view. Founder of Bibi production - ' Fashion for development'.

An alumnus of the prestigious London College of Fashion from the 1975 batch, Bibi commenced her career as a model for renowned fashion magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazar. As a fashion model she walked the ramp in several fashion shows while working with Yves Saint Laurent, Kenzo, Karl Lagerfeld and Giorgio Armani.

The first one she posed for was Harper Bazaar. Her teachers encouraged her to take up this opportunity to learn about the fashion world as much as she can and that is precisely what she did. Her first show was with Valentino, and Vogue’s admiration for Bibi put her on the map pretty strongly “you could put two teacups on her cheekbones”, Vogue famously said.

Bibi Russell walked the ramp alongside the likes of Naomi Campbell and modelled in prestigious campaigns of Jaguar, BMW and Toyota among many others.


Bibi was given the distinction of ‘One of the 20 people to watch in the Millennium’ by the Asia week magazine

As a mark appreciation for her illustrious work in the world of fashion, she was awarded the Honorary Fellowship of the London institute in 1999

Bibi was awarded as Designer of Development in 1998 and Artist for Peace in 2001 from UNESCO. 

UNESCO and Bibi Russell Put Fashion at the Service of Development

https://youtu.be/L7WPKPTdZJ0

She also received “Cross of Officer of the Order of Queen Isabella” from the Spanish government for her influence on the d her journey towards a lifetime of achievements and awards- all of which she always dedicated to the people who work for her and help her shape the dreams.

World renowned fashion designer Bibi Russell was awarded with ‘Begum Rokeya Padak’ 2015, Bangladesh. 

On receiving the award, Bibi Russell said, “I’m very happy today. This award has come at a time when I needed some inspiration to move ahead.”

Her work with acid attack survivors and rural Rajsthani weavers has also been the topic of international discussion.

Fluent in three (Bengali, English, Italian) and moderate in three more (Spanish, French, German) languages, with an already established career in modelling, Bibi could easily continue on the international platform as she was.

Her bottomless bucket of achievements  After she put her long and glorious modelling career to rest (from 1978- 94).

It was in 1994 that she went back to her roots and started Bibi Productions –Fashion for Development,

her own fashion house in Bangladesh that infuses Bangladeshi cultural elements into her designs. Her company helped over 35,000 local weavers in Bangladesh with employment.


Bangladesh may not prominently feature in the global fashion scene. Although the scene has elevated significantly in recent years, the fashion industry is still in nascent stages. However, one of the trailblazers, name that many Bengalis associate with fashion is Bibi Russell. 

Bibi Russell said, When I came back, the first two years were spent in the villages. I came back in January, 1994. It took me two years to settle down and then I didn’t look back.
I wanted to have enough funds to be self-sufficient when I came back. Till date, whatever I have done is with my own money. I don’t have time to write proposals and ask for money. My mental satisfaction is priceless. I do enough to sustain my office.

The idea is to motivate the younger generation. To tell them, don’t make it so complicated.


Gamchaha and Bibi production 

I have seen gamchha right from my childhood, different kinds of gamchha. It was kind of stuck in my mind. I was amazed by the colour combinations. The gamchha taantis in Bangladesh were below the poverty level and cool.


I started with gamchha scarves. It is an extension of the heritage. My gamchha creations are still one of the biggest exports. It was a hit from the beginning. Queen Sofia of Spain and Antonio Banderas have worn my gamchha. 

“I make world clothing that exemplifies the global village mindset. I design ready-to-wear clothes. Ultimately, I combine fashion with traditional craftsmanship, aid empowerment and commitment. My collection is made exclusively of handmade fabrics, crafts, rickshaw art and recycled products,” said Bibi in an interview. 

Bangladeshi fashion week in London - Image source east London news

She is one of the most celebrated faces in developmental fashion today. Her production house has put Bangladesh’s best foot forward by exporting the products to Europe and the USA.

Even the non fashion-conscious Bengali grew up hearing her name and fame. Be it because of her iconic love for gamcha print, or her rickshaw-painted frames, or her loud statement pieces and accessories. 

So, how did she turn Bibi Russell?

A mop of hair. Her trademark rickshaw-art glasses perched right above her silver nose ring. Stacks of colourful bangles on both wrists. Sharee. Very cool, the Bibi Russell way.


I was born in Chittagong and grew up in Dhaka. My dad had a cultural bent of mind. My father gave me the name and I would get very angry right from childhood. ‘Kar Bibi (whose wife)?!’ ‘Shaheb Bibi Golam!’ Aamai khepato (they would tease me). When I went abroad, I realised how easy it was to pronounce my name.

Bibi had extensive exposure to culture during here upbringing- primarily because of the influence of her father, Mokhlessur Rahman and mother Shamsunnahar Rahman. 

The little girl from Kamrunnisa High School So after she finished school from Kamrunnisa High School  and Home Economics College, she left for London, where she had to insist the authority for 6months consistently to finally get in. She was finishing her degree with a scholarship when for her last project she had to design 11 outfits and showcase them in a runway.


I lead a very simple life. I live in a rented house. My sons work in Google and BBC. They speak perfect Bangla. Tumi teen haath dur thekei bujhtey parbey aamar chheley (You can understand that they are my children from afar)! 

The London College of Fashion graduate who modelled with the likes of Jerry Hall and Iman, is also a true-blue Bangali who celebrates the first day of the Bengali New Year without fail, and who loves walking “khali paay (barefoot)”. She is a nomad with roots. 

This incredibly gifted and widely acclaimed Bangladeshi designer is not only a mega fashion icon and former international model, she is also someone who leads from the front and works tirelessly to revive country weavers.

She has always been admirably vocal about getting recognition for the people whose relentless effort makes the wonderful world of glamour more magical. In return, the people she works and stays with has always embraced her with open homes and open hearts.

'You Unique You Wired 
You are Your Dreamer'.

"Be Your Own Role model

Do not frame your life. Keep it as an open canvas where new colors and lines will be added every day".

Sources : UNESCO, TelegraphIndia, Hifi.com, Myntra


International Women’s Day, 8 March 2021 (IWD 2021)

#ChooseToChallenge 

“Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”


It is also aligned with the priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, “Women's full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”, and the flagship Generation Equality. 
UN Women 




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