Model Azim Uddula, who has made a name for himself in the fashion industry with his chiseled face and Greek-god like features, added a new feather to his cap at the French Riveria in Cannes.
At a fashion awards show there, Azim won the International Star Award by Integrity Magazine. Azim shared the award with fellow model Joshua Moon.
Unfortunately, Azim could not personally receive the award due to strict Covid-19 rules, but the star icon shared details on how he was able to participate virtually and how his connection with American fashion designer Grace Moon helped him reach international stardom at Cannes.
Azim, who is riding high at the moment, had actually never envisioned having a modelling career.
He found his calling during a stint modelling Tanjim jeans in 2010. His friend had suggested him to start modelling. After the completion of his first project, Azim was motivated to further pursue his career in the fashion industry.
Apart from working with all the famous Bangladeshi brands, the renowned model has also showcased his aptitude in modelling by doing photo shoots and ramp work in India, England and South Korea.
"In India, I participated in the "Rajasthan Heritage Week" in Jaipur and I also did shows and shoots in Bombay. I had a great time working with different photographers and doing photo shoots for several fashion magazines and newspapers in Bombay. In India, I worked with Prasad Bidapa Associate. In London, I am signed with Zone Model Management through which I have done several shoots for magazines and newspapers."
During his time in the industry, Azim Uddula has collected an impressive repertoire of anecdotes. One of these involves the iconic fashion designer Bibi Russell
"I have been working with Bibi Russell from 2012 and since then I have been part of her each and every fashion show and photo shoot. I even had the opportunity to work with her at a show in Rajasthan and it was truly a wonderful experience working with her outside of our country."
Collaboration with Grace Moon, Integrity Magazine and the coveted award at the Cannes
American designer and fashion icon Grace Moon has a huge portfolio showcasing her work in New York, Paris and London Fashion Week. Earlier on, the fashionista attended as a judge in the international jury panel for the Face of Bangladesh 2020.
Grace Moon and Azim met during the show and the fashion icon felt that Azim's clothing line had huge potential. Earlier this year, Azim and Grace Moon collaborated on a fashion show held at hotel Amari in Dhaka.
"Grace supported young entrepreneurs and she saw huge potential in me. Moon organised the International Fashion event at the Cannes Film Festival and invited me to participate at the event."
The model was scheduled to appear at the red carpet and also do a photo shoot for Korean and American brands but due to strict Covid protocols he could not attend the gala event.
"Fortunately, Integrity Magazine was kind enough to consider my participation as they asked me to send my profile and pictures as per their requirement. Later on, my picture was selected as the June cover issue of the Integrity Magazine. There were three of us who participated in the competition. There was a model from Paris and then there was Joshua Moon from USA. I was the only Bangladeshi participant to represent my country in the category and as fate would have it, I won the coveted award.
"As a model, any kind of recognition or award truly inspires me to give my best. In future, this recognition will surely instill in me the passion and dedication to give my best for my future projects.
"Had I been there to accept the award, it would have given me the opportunity to thank and praise all the amazing creatives in the Bangladesh fashion industry, who have propelled my career."
Azim's fashion line and the impacts of Covid-19
Nine years since after his first stint as a model, Azim started his own men's clothing line called "AZ" in 2019. Currently, the brand has an outlet in Banani and its collections have received a good response from clients.
But due to the alarming rise in Covid-19 cases, shopping malls and outlets have been closed. Most of the store owners are facing severe losses due to the pandemic.
"All of us are facing a tough time right now that is unprecedented. We are hoping that the pandemic will be under control when most of the people will be vaccinated. The government should notice the dire situation of the clothing retail sector and try to minimise the damage in this sector. For eg, they can impose less interest on bank loans, imports and exports so that we will be able to sustain our business."
Besides Azim scoring the International Star Award at Cannes, Bangladeshi-Irish model Maksuda Akhter Prioty also won the top model award at the Cannes festival this year.