"I don't want to just wear an Ibu dress and post it like a flash in the pan. I want a relationship with one of the artisan groups. I want to understand their challenges and successes. I want to follow them over time, get to know them, and champion their work." ~Madison Headrick, international fashion model and Ibu ambassador
Ibu is thrilled to introduce Madison Headrick - a tomboy from Sullivan’s Island turned international supermodel - joining us to champion women artisans, and in particular the stunning ikat workshop of Muhayo Aliyeva of Bibi Hanum in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Madison’s concern for the planet, for social justice and women’s rights, make her a powerful ambassador for this work.
Madison and Muhayo recently began to create a conversation between worlds (watch the conversation here). Ibu designed a gorgeous green ikat dress for Madison, radiantly modeled above. It is an honor to have Madison join the Ibu world as an ambassador, and a representative of our work in Uzbekistan. Here's to the women of the world and all the ways we elevate one another!
In Her Words: A Letter from Muhayo Aliyeva to Ibu Allies
In 2014, I met Susan Hull Walker and began a successful turning point for my company Bibi Hanum. Susan placed an order for ikat coats and clutches, and since that moment we have partnered together creating custom coats, dresses, skirts, and also designing special ikat fabrics for Ibu. Our collaboration not only supports the women in our workshop, but several dozen other women who create ikat fabrics in Uzbekistan.
The pandemic has been very challenging. Many artisan businesses in Uzbekistan have closed and will probably never reopen. Bibi Hanum faced similar challenges as customers canceled orders. As if that were not enough, our workspace was sold, thus tripling the rental costs which were impossible to cover. Out of despair, I reached out to our contacts. The Ibu Foundation helped cover our rent for several months and I felt I could breathe again. I graciously accepted the grant and we are back to weaving our fabrics.
The sincere efforts made by Ibu and the Ibu Foundation to support women artisans have an immense impact. In this fast fashion world, very few designers are turning to artisan work. One reason may be that it is not cheap and we don’t have the capacity to produce large quantities in a short period of time. But when one wears our clothes, one is wearing a piece of art created with heart and soul reflecting a culture and identity. Our products are not disposable fashion items, but are valuable pieces that can be cherished and handed down; joining people together, uniting cultures and identities. When you wear our work, you are helping to feed a woman’s family, to give her child a better education, and to provide a better life for our artisans.