Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bibi Russell: Pride of Bangladesh

She is so vibrant that I could feel Bangladesh in her. For a long time I haven't heard anyone to be so proud of Bangladesh. she truly is the pride of Bangladesh. Bibi Russel's claim to fame did not only come from her tremendous success in the modeling world, but also from a penchant for pithy - and brazen - quotes. More than a model, Bibi is a global icon.

Bibi was the first woman from Bangladesh to study at the London College of Fashion. When she graduated in 1975 she modeled her own graduation show, she was immediately offered modeling assignments with Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld and Giorgio Armani.

Bibi is 5'10'' tall and debuts her modeling career in 1976. From 1986 to 1992, she was dominating as a top model in Vogue, Haper's Bazaar and Cosmopolitan magazines. Bibi was model for almost all popular products, such as Kodak, Channel, BMW, Toyota, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani etc. and did catwalk on the stage with almost all top models of the world such as Naomi, Claudia etc.

A supermodel for the biggest designers in the 1980's, she then returned to her homeland to make "fashion for development". She now employs 30.000 weavers all over Bangladesh.

‘Everyone thinks Bangladesh is a poor country. For me - it's rich in culture and everything. It gives me a lot of energy _ I live in Bangladesh. Most of the time I'm in villages and I'm competing with top designers.’

She sold her house and possessions to fund her dream. She lived in the villages and the jet-setting supermodel travelled by road, because it was a self-funded project. "People sell poverty. I sold the beauty in poverty," is how she explains her work.

Bibi won critical acclaim at the London Fashion Week the first time she showed her khadi (or khaddor as they say) and handloom collection, got Harrods to stock up her designs, and had an eventful debut in the U.S. too.

Bibi has received both national and international awards for her work with the artisans and weavers in Bangladesh. She has been honoured with an Honorary Fellowship from the London Institute (1999), Women of the Year by Elle Magazine (1997), and Entrepreneur Woman of the Year (1999) by the Foundation of Entrepreneur Women. She has also been highlighted by Asia Week Magazine as one of the ‘20 people to watch in the millennium.’ UNESCO named her ‘Designer for Development in 1999 for her unfailing commitment to human dignity, development and the eradication of poverty. This title was replaced by the title Artist of Peace in 2001.

Her speaking style is energetic, truthful and humorous; her message—profound and thought provoking. Each of the upward steps she takes on that ladder is a success formula designed to be enlightening and entertaining, showing people how to take charge of your life without being self-conscious about it. Bibi’s mission is to encourage people to move beyond limitations and reach for their dreams. She emphasises the importance of recognizing and valuing everyone's contribution as a team member in life's pursuits. A dynamic stage presence, Bibi captures the attention of her audience instantaneously and never lets go. She combines hard facts, specific strategies and personal insights to create a powerful message. Her ability to connect with the heart makes her one of the most influential women in Bangladesh.

That's empowerment. That's development. That's Bibi.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

আবলুসী ভাবনা

আয়ান রশীদ খান :: অনুবাদ : সুনীল গঙ্গোপাধ্যায়

লোকে বলে, তোর কাছে কান্ত হয়ে পড়া মৃত্যুর সমান
আমারও সেই রকমই মনে হয়
তবে শোন শহর
সাফ সাফ বলে দিচ্ছি, আমি তোকে নিয়ে ক্লান্ত
অথবা এমনও মনে হয়
আমার মাথার ওপর থেকে সেই পিতার ছায়াটা সরে গেছে
যা এতদিন নিরাপত্তা দিয়েছিল আমাকে
শোন শহর!
যদি আমি মরে যাই
লোকে আমাকে দাফন করতে নিয়ে যাবে
তুই তখন এক ঝটকায় আমাকে কোলে তুলে নিবি
চুল খোলা, গল্পের মাতৃমূর্তির মতন
আমাকে আঁচলে লুকিয়ে চিৎ‍‍কার করে ওকে বলে দিবি
না, এ আমার সন্তান
আমি যতক্ষণ বেঁচে আছি ও কিছুতেই অনাথ হবে না
আমি যতক্ষণ বেঁচে আছি, কেউ ওকে আমার কাছ থেকে
কেড়ে নিতে পারবে না!

5:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

অন্য ব্লগ থেকে যা আমার ব্লগে ছাপাই তা ব্লগচোরা নামে ছাপাই৷ আপনার ব্লগ থেকেও ব্লগ আমার বুঝি কমে ছাপাতে চাই৷

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A wonderful story about business as a force for good. Well done Bibi!

2:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you have any idea how I can get in touch with Bibi's organization? Do they have an email address?
Thank you

8:56 AM  
Blogger Labonno said...

Ms Bibi Russell
Bibi Productions
Rahman Chamber, 12-13 Motijheel
C.A. Dhaka, Bangladesh
Tel./Fax (880 2) 9565358
E-mail :

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i really like yr Blog on Bibi Russell...

i made a grp in facebook: Bibi Russell

feel free to join...share new as it happenes/pic..on her thnx

6:46 AM  

What a great inspiration she is!! Great Bibi! Congratulations.. :-)

12:56 PM  
Blogger nidhi said...

hats off to her....gr8 female...source of inspiration for all.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Fateema said...

she's one of the most wonderful and inspiring women i've met in my life, and she seems really modest about all she's done too. it's nice to see she's been recofnized for her goodness :)

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8:28 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

my salute to truely amazing lady. her simplity is touching and a lession. my previlage that i got to meet her and talk to her today at Weaving Destination in Kokrajhar, Assam, India where she is on visit to see the work of the indigenious Bodo women who are born weavers. i hope the bodo weaver will benefit by her visit

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Everyone thinks Bangladesh is a poor country. For me - it's rich in culture and everything."
Yeah, rich in culture. What about poverty and starving? According to Wikipedia there was a famine in 2008. How rich is that?

4:03 AM  
Anonymous afia said...

i think you are a great woman for all the work you do for people of bangladesh.You have the biggest hart known to this world i would like to be like you, your are my insperation may allah bless you.

10:09 PM  
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