I gave Azim a call to get his reaction to this prestigious invitation. He had only recently received the invitation and surely he would be excited to walk the red carpet in Cannes! It was a dream come true. And yes, that excitement was brimming over in his voice.
"I've been modeling for quite a few years now and have worked at home and abroad. But there is always that dream of being able to take part in such an international event. And that is coming true. I am really lucky. Not everyone gets such an opportunity, but I did!"
Azim has been successful as a model on the ramp, as a brand ambassador, in ads and more or else in all spheres of modelling. And now another feather is being added to his cap. It certainly will be an honour to represent Bangladesh at such a global event as the Cannes Film Festival.
I met Grace Moon early this year when she had come to Bangladesh to launch Azim's brand. We've kept in contact since then and she informed me that she's going to attend the Cannes Film Festival this year. She's been invited to a three-day event as a designer. She'll showcase her collection at the British magazine Integrity's Fashion Gala.
She told then me that the Bangladesh model Azim would be modelling for her at the red carpet event, walking the ramp in her creations. She forwarded me the invitation which had been sent to him.
Our stars and even film directors have been to the Cannes festival, but this is the first time a model from Bangladesh is going to strut his stuff on the catwalk there. Azim is doing Bangladesh proud.
Grace Moon is also going to launch her line of cosmetics at the event and Azim is to be the make global ambassador for the brand -- yet another perk in his portfolio.
Alongside the mainstream movie screening, the Cannes festival has all sorts of other events too. As part of this, the Integrity magazine is hosting its fashion award event. Grace Moon will be presenting her collection there.
She said that the pandemic is her theme. People are confined to their homes and she had designed her loungewear with that in in mind. She is still working on the collection.
Meanwhile, Azim said he will be the cover model for Integirty Magazine's August issue and the shoot will take place then. He plans to leave Dhaka on 11 July for Cannes.
Azim began his modelling career in 2010. He had done a lot of work over the past 10 years. He has taken part in the Rajasthan Heritage Fashion Week in 2017, modelling for all the top Indian designers. He has worked with Bibi Russell. He has taken part in the Bangladesh Week, the Aarong Show, the Zurhem Show and other top events.
He has modelled in London and in India. He has worked with the famous Indian fashion choreographer Prasad Bidapa. He was the Cat's Eye brand ambassador for four years from 2013. He's worked in ads for Clear Shampoo, Bic, Western Union, Bangalink, Robi and more. His repertoire seems endless.
And now the Cannes event is the icing on the cake. It will open new doors for him, help to spread his name and fame a little further. It will serve to brighten Bangladesh's image too in the global arena.
"Azim has the physique and looks to stand on a global stage"
In a brief interview over WhatsApp, designer Grace Moon spoke about participating in the Cannes event, model Azim, her work and more.
"In 2019 I was able to attend Cannes Film Festival through the American Global Short Film Festival. This year I am invited to a private villa show by a British magazine over a three day event. I guess the difference this time is the nationality of the organisers," said designer Grace Moon.
What's the specialty of her collection this time?
"As this show is not a fashion week and is at a film festival, I have decided to lean into the artistic and coloruful modernised traditional Korean attire. The title of this show is "Diversity & Unity" and as the film festival shares stories and cultures from all over the world, I wanted my show to represent that exchange of cultures."
She continues, "I always want to express my Korean heritage in a modernised and trendy way. This time I plan to utilise the Korean variegated colours to express the celebration of diversity."
She explains why she chose Azim as her model. "I met him as a model through other work. I felt he had the physique and looks to stand on a global stage. Experience is important too, but I felt his mindset, of taking care of himself and being prepared, was at a level that could place him on a global stage."
"There are a lot of beautiful and handsome men and women all over the world. It's actually hard to find models that have their own character and use that character to appropriately appeal to viewers. For a designer, it is important for a model to wear designs and to portray them in the best way possible, so you can almost look at models as my children. I want and need my children to look the best. I believe Azim has that character and confidence to portray these things."