The event, Face of Bangladesh, aimed at hunting for the top four models of the country to represent Bangladesh at the Asia Model Festival to be held in Seoul, South Korea.
At the gala round of the event at Hotel Le Meridien’s ballroom, the judges revealed five names instead of four, for the coveted title ‘Face of Bangladesh’. They will soon be off to Seoul.
The judges selected five contestants based on their talent, fashion sense and appearance. Maruf Rahman and Shirin Shela were crowned as the champions while Mehedi Hassan and Sahela Majumdar were runners up. The fifth contestant was Manasi Kanta Sarkar.
The programme was sponsored by Sandalina soap.
A total of 20 aspiring models took part in the final round of the competition. Reputed models of the country had trained them for a month. They were selected from among around 5,000 participants. These top five will compete with models from 27 countries across Asia in Seoul.
They fired up the stage on Tuesday in various types of traditional and western outfits. Girls wore T-shirts, denim, tops, skirts, gowns, sarees and evening wear. Boys wore panjabis, blazers, sherwani and shawls.
The chief guest was chairperson of Nagorik TV channel Rubana Huq. In her speech, she recalled the garment workers killed in Rana Plaza tragedy.
“We welcome any opportunity to highlight Bangladesh on the global platform,” said Rubana, also the newly elected president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
“Beauty does not come from the texture of the skin exposed through layers of makeup, beauty comes from within,” she added.
Nagorik TV chief executive Abdun Noor Tushar said, “The winners of this competition will get the chance to present their history, heritage and culture alongside the fashion industry in Seoul.
Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman was present as special guest at the event.
“The trend of taking modelling as a profession is increasing among the youth. They continue to amaze me,” Matiur Rahman said.
“Bangladesh has earned success in many different areas. The youth should be kept in the forefront on this path of achievement. Our journey is towards sunshine. Whatever we do, we have to do it through our young generation,” he said
The event was attended by the Asia Model Festival of Korea chairman E Shi Yang. He appreciated the initiative of the cultural exchange of the two countries through this kind of arrangement.
Sobbhota and the band performed at the event. Xefer and Fairuz also took the stage. Dancer Pooja Sengupta performed while Raheen and Jishnu played ‘See Saw’ on the guitar and saxophone.
The judges included beautician Kaniz Almas Khan, Nagorik TV chief executive Abdun Noor Tushar and author Anisul Huq. And three South Korean judges were Uji Yong, Mundai Jing and Onsu King.
The organisers said that ‘Face of Bangladesh’ is the first ever of such events to lift Bangladeshi youth to the global platform of fashion and modelling.
The organisers of the competition were Nagorik TV, Crosswalk Communication and Korean organisation Corban.
Prothomalo.com, Persona, Azra Mahmood Grooming and Casting Studio, Canvas, Le Meridien and ABC Radio were also partners of the event.
*The piece appeared in Prothom Alo print edition has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat