Exchange of designs can open market for India, Bangladesh: Bibi Russell

New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) Europe is a major territory when it comes to fashion from Bangladesh, but there’s a huge potential market in India as well, says Bangladeshi designer Bibi Russell, who works closely with artisans from Rajasthan to promote its crafts globally.

“We have a world market in Europe but I believe that if given an opportunity to have them (Indian designers and artisans) come to Bangladesh, then we won’t have to look at Europe. The exchange of designs will open (many) doors for India and Bangladesh,” Russell told IANS here.

Russell, a former model, will be part of the Rajasthan Heritage Week, scheduled to take place in Jaipur early next month. The three-day event, starting on December 3, will highlight modern luxury and beauty of heritage.

“I have been working in Rajasthan and I am inspired by the state. I am invited officially by the (Rajasthan) government because all my work is to ensure sustainable income for the craftsmen,” said Russell, whose focus lies in revival of crafts.

She says a “week” dedicated to the culture, heritage, arts and crafts of the rich and vibrant state is the “best news for me after all things happening to the world”.

“The Rajasthan government has given 100 percent support to us,” Rusell said.

For her showcase at the Rajasthan Heritage Week — which will also see creations by ace Indian designers Ritu Kumar, Abraham & Thakore and Hemant Trivedi — the designer has reinvented Khadi for a winter line, inspired by the textiles of Rajasthan.

“I am showing a completely different collection because it’s winter time. There will be simple styling, but elegant work on jackets, trousers, shirts and many other pieces,” she said.

The designer has received many awards, including the Honorary Fellowship of the London Institute in 1999, the “Designer for Development” title by the Unesco in 1999, ‘Artist for Peace’ by the Unesco in 2001, and the Peace Prize 2004 by the United Nations Associations of Spain.

The Rajasthan Heritage Week is a textile development project in association with the Rajasthan government. It’s aim is to involve designers and weavers with a focus on promotion of Khadi and Kota along with the upliftment of artisans and weavers.

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