Series 1 - Episode 1. Cherrie manicures and chats to British-Somali, model-of-the-moment, Bibi. Hailed as a "baby Iman", Bibi has walked for top designers Roksanda, Toga and Fyodor Golan. She talks about when she was first scouted at 16 in Primark, how she embraces two cultures and her seamless transition from pharmacology to fashion. Plus, she gives us an exciting exclusive that she's never spoken about before!
@bibiabdulkadir - Storm Models
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Cover Illustration by Zoe Georgiou @zoedrawsfashion
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um, I'm good to just have, like, a clear and maybe a little design of a woman with an offer.
Hey, everyone, welcome to the manicure table. Created Conversations with Me carries a knife. MPs decide. I invite my fashion friends and creative colleague to get their nails done with me and talk candidly about how and where the incredible journeys began. Thiss episode is sponsored by my favourite healthy now care bio sculpture. 100% feeding on DH 40 free. For more information, visit the new pc dot co dot UK. So my first ever guest is the beautiful British Somali model. Baby Baby tells us how she was first scouted at 16. She's now with Storm Management, the agency that gave us Kate Moss. She talks about living with two cultures, going from pharmacology to fashion on DH. She gives us a little exclusive that she's never spoken about before. She's one of the sweetest models I've ever met. I absolutely adore her. It's Bebe. Oh, I'm really happy to be off us
guests. When I first met you, I just really felt like when was it was a while ago, right? Yeah. When I first started I think it was for Harry. It's that right? Yes. Itwas that was one of my first bike money jobs, remember? That's so amazing. And then you did, um, Vivienne Westwood. We saw each other. That was great. I just remember thinking, Yes, you've got this or that's really kind of surveying and calm. No, thank you. Felt that. You two. It's nice when you can connect in that way. You as a first guest is the dream. I'm really happy this worked out this way. So before we talk about how you got into modelling, can you tell us a bit about your background shore? Um, so I'm Samani British? Yeah. And I grew up in North London and infield. Uh, it was great. I mean, it's a pretty small is in London, but pre excluded place What I felt like anyway. Yeah, it did kind of feel like a little old town, even though it was London. You know, you spoke to your neighbor's and it more of a community fail. Um, slightly. I feel like it's really difficult to find that in London Anyway, people are always moving, have different neighbours all the time. So who did you live with that? Brothers and sisters? Yeah, I wanna fight you because I'm one of five T. Yeah, remember there?
lived with my mom on my four siblings, two sisters and two brothers. But we're also spaced out, eh? So where do you come in that equation on the middle, child? Oh, God. The dreaded So you scouted in Primark right? Yes, has that storey because that is so funny. I e think Jordan donors with Scotty didn't pry. Mark Teo really? Is this gun battles that it's It's a common storey. Maybe they go to Prime Mark. Some scout was That's why God would green prime prime out. That was the first time I got scouted. Um, yeah, it was all because I didn't know anything about fashion and or agencies or anything or modelling like I didn't I wasn't very involved. I just had a very, like, quite an insular upper gain, you know, in and feel like, you know, it was right academic also So fashion was not one of my interests at the time, which is crazy to say no on DH. This really she's really, really lovely woman She scouted. I was with my friend. We were shopping and she asked me if I was a model. And if I wanted to take the car door, take a picture. I can't remember. But I was. So I was just immediately like I thank you because it's at that age for me. Especially when you don't know anything about fresher. And it just it's a stranger coming up to you. Yeah. You know, especially if you don't know of these agencies, you just not really gonna believe it. She, um, persuaded me just to take the card at least and show my mom and I laughed inside because I was like, my mom is definitely not gonna be interested in this, you know? Um, so I just left and I put the condom, I poke it and it stayed there for a few weeks, you know, kind of just forgot about it on it. Came up in conversation one time with my cousin on DH. She was a lot more like pinto fashion and make up, just like, you know, a more girly girl on DH. Yeah, And ultimately was my cousin who really pushed me too. Buddy. Get into it and do it and go to the meetings or weeks later. We ended up like meeting the the agency, but it didn't work out with them because I was at school and then I did a levels. After I finished school, I decided to do a levels and then it decided to get to uni in Nottingham. So it just wasn't I didn't make sense like it wasn't practical for me toe to do that. So we just parted ways. Um and that was that. And I was so glad I made that decision because I couldn't have done both. I see it now like a lot
of girls and boys
do both on. It's just the most inspiring thing. I couldn't do it such a heavy load to study on what? Because it really is a full time job. A lot of people get scouted young and then the kind of it. They have to make a decision. Yeah, although they don't go for time until they're much older. Either that or they do, and they forfeit their education or whatever is. But it's a really difficult decision to make on DH. Sometimes when you decide to, you know, finish your studies, that opportunity might not still be there. So I was really privileged to still have that. But I think everything happened the way it was supposed to happen because my agency that I ended up with, I've just been the most supportive. They scouted me whilst I was in my last year, and they were really supportive, too Way and finish. So this is still Yeah. Exactly. And that's so great. So how did that happen? I think actually happened on Instagram. I really like What did they do? Did they messaged you? Yeah, and they asked me toe, come in. I wass with a different agency at the time, But I wasn't really like I was just with him, but I was still at uni, so I wasn't doing anything. I wasn't working because I went to uni insulting him.
I just wasn't ready. Can
you just explain what pharmacology degrees? It's basically pharmacy minus the, you know, distribution side of We did do a bit of that, to be honest, but it's pretty much just pharmacy. So he could just be a pharmacist. Yeah, which is insane to think about now, but I really enjoyed my degree at least you have a backup plan. Yeah. Although I cannot imagine me doing that now. Yeah, at all modelling. Did you? Is that something you wanted to dio way? Really? Absolutely. I was I was really passionate. Well, I still I still, um, like, obviously not in the same way, But I was really, really passionate about it. And I enjoyed every minute, like modelling came along. And yeah, well, nothing was always kind of in somewhere. But I never imagined that I would be doing it full time because most because I wasn't educated about how that really happened, you know? Yeah. It's an odd thing to think when you're not involved when you're not in the industry, understand? But it's just it just happened. So what does your family think
of you being a
model? Well, this is an interesting question. My family, I, like super traditional, come from a very Villagers Muslim family. So it was wasn't a popular idea I can imagine, but I think it's that's pretty normal. How do they feel about it now? Well, I'd say it's still a struggle to try and explain certain things like, but I think all creatives have that when you try to explain the fact that you worked a week and you didn't get paid because it was an editorial, things like that, like you just can't explain if someone doesn't. What don't
I know? Because I, when I first
got into this industry, tried to explain it to my husband is that I'm not getting paid today. Yeah, but I'm working. Yeah. How are you? Yeah. Say, I think that's the case with a lot of parents were just family members, guardians, whatever way. You just have a very different idea and scope of life in general. And I think that falls mostly in immigrant families. First generation is I'm a first generation. It's like Forman immigrant on DH. The reality of life between me and a lot of the older people in my family. He's just really different. Yes. Could I have two cultures? I'm British, and I'm so Molly and I have them equally. So it's difficult, Teo tohave that and still relate to someone who was only he only has one but still lives in and still lives in England. I mean, it must be hard for them living here. Yeah, and then having to understand that, you know, they don't talk about things that get in here. I mean, you were born here, right? No, I was actually born in Kenya. I really My mom came over when I was, like, a few years old. Was my earliest memories are just hey, from north London. But I would really love to get back. My plan is simply to say you've never gone back. I haven't. I haven't been to Somalia either. But I would. I'm going. Definitely gonna go to Kenya soon. Um, on plan hopefully , she needs to get to Somalia. And there's just a lot off, like civil unrest at the moment. Yeah, of course. Difficult to go back, but it's definitely on my list of things to do. Yeah,
I think it was gonna be like huge. Oh, thank you. I
feel like you've got your signature hair, I've been thinking about kind. All ready? I
kind of struggled
with that because I feel like goal right is a look. But sometimes I feel like people focus, or clients focus on my hair rather than me. And I want my hair not to be my... your hair is essentially always going to be your identity, especially as a black woman. Yeah, but I wanted it. So this whole see like you'll see for power. Surely, Yeah, that's true. It is true. I kind of struggled with that, to be honest, but I agree. Do you remember the first shit you ever did? Um, keep us from nine about town, okay? And I still had long hair. Um, did you advised to get a car? Did you think? Oh, well, I was actually my idea on DH off three. Like main agents. Two of them were for it. Yeah, and one of them was not, um, but I wanted to do anyway, and we just had to talk about it. And it we did it. And it was It was the best decision ever. I felt like I was going into a new stage of life. Yeah, in general. Yeah. So, as much as you don't want to have to be identity, changing something like that makes a big difference in taking that step. And also, it surely gives you some self confidence, in a way. Yeah, if you're feeling that it's really you. Yeah. That's another thing I felt like it fit more with who are you and who I was becoming. But I wasn't terribly nervous about seeing if it's a big change. But I wasn't like, Oh my God calling, Yeah, it was just so I'll be crying. Yeah, there's a start having everyone always system when you can get a
deal. People, Can you think off your best
experiences? Yeah, absolutely. There's so many, I think, above all, just the I'm so grateful for the experience of being a bowl, too. Open up my mind in that way in a creative way because I just wasn't like that before. I always been into, um, I'm just like thinking creatively. What was that into like I used to do duel Getting that officially, You're usually yeah, like reading and things like that. But getting into an industry weathers a limitless amount of creativity, and you're constantly meeting so many different people and it's inspiring. It's so inspiring on DH you off bed every day at a job you're fed and bedded, fed with so much inspiration and creativeness that it's impossible for you not to take that, and I just kind of absorb it absolutely Exactly. So I was really grateful for that. And to travel.
What kind of challenges?
De face. I guess it's the constant having to deal with rejection. Yeah, I guess you have to have such a thick skin. You do. And that's why I feel like things happen for a reason with me, because I definitely couldn't have done it at 16. Yeah, at 16. I was such a different person on DH. Probably way more fun bowl priorities. And I was really naive, and I just couldn't have handled. It definitely would have broke me down if I had started modelling at 16. Yeah, but But you you see 16 year olds and they do great, and they really responsible. And just for you. Yeah. I mean, I I think there must be such a small handful of girls that cope with that at such a young age because that's the kind of age where you're so containable. Yeah, really wanting to please others especially interesting like this. You're constantly wantinto people to like you. Yeah, you know, But you want to fit in. You're so aware of everything. I know that because I have a daughter. Yeah, I remember being there exactly, but it's not too young for some people, and I think because I've seen it, I've seen Young go on. They're fine, They're fine and did that. Fine. And if you're that kind of person, that's great. But I guess the industry should provide certain measures to protect girls. And then time and agencies should give that cause. You hear about some agencies not doing that at all? I was really grateful that stole my such a very agency. And they are really supportive. Yeah. Um, something a small is like what to
castings. You know, someone would tell you that it's it's super
strict. You have to
read this or that whatever by the end of the day, like you want to show your personality. And that came over time. Yeah. No, not really doing things or saying things are wearing certain things for others. But just because you know just being ourselves, showing who are there's not much time. You have to really speak and showcase your personality. So you're literate in there, like minutes. Exactly. So you might as well see what you can. Some costumes you do have time to really sit and talk. Oh, yeah. Ask questions and some cost things. You get in and out in a minute. I want to ask you about Fashion Week fashion. I've come to love it, but how many seasons have you done? I think this will be onto my fifth. I thought it fulfilled. Yeah, I think. Yeah, I've done a few seasons, and it is essence. I mean, this I only now do shows that I know. Oh, no. A stressful treat. You better. And I mean, remember Doom three in one day? Yeah. Um, yeah. Go from show to show. Yeah. And just the whole kind of more for Mei. It's getting your team together. Organising your tame on DH Fashion week is usually very intense and anxiety inducing for me. And I'm sure it is for a lot of people because it's like a more face to face rejection rather than with, like, normal jobs throughout the year. You might get an option for something. Yeah, it will release, but it's okay, cause just got told through email, you know, but imagine being told. Well, you know, I haven't told me, but you can always tell when you didn't get a job. You for Fashion Week. It's what, while you always waiting, awaiting for hours sometimes because there's so many tests, so many is that so many models like I really need to go to other terrorist ing casting or whatever. But you don't want them to get the impression that you don't want the job. Yeah, somewhere else at the same time. And it's just but no one really
Fashion Week. So it's okay. I've had the girls that have done it for three seasons, and I just thought, No, yeah, because it is really intense, I guess, for as long as I can. I still love it, love it and enjoy it and book job because it is a nice time, Tio really feel once you get on the runway, you know all the castings and stuff and fittings is really intense. But that memory on the road you get really nervous before you go on Or, um, is it exciting? My eye? It's more exciting. That is more exciting because you don't release. It's only for a few minutes. Yeah, maybe two minutes tops, maybe even less. So it's I guess it's your moment to kind of feel great. Would you feel like when you're out there on the catwalk? Depends on what I'm wearing. Have you ever had to wear something where it's really uncomfortable? Shoes? These issues, they never have the right size, but it's only for a few minutes. That's not so bad, but a few minutes could still cause a lot of come in. Do you have a mentor or someone you've looked up to? Someone that supports you? Yeah, I guess my friends just in general, people around me that I meet inspire wi I take them. I take them or their storey or whatever I have to take from them. They have to give to me as a form of mental ship. Yeah, I think it's important, especially it is quite a lonely job, but you wouldn't think of it as that. But you constantly think about doing fashion. You d'oh, you know, interact with other models for May I have I. I see other manicurist because they help me on my team and thinks about so is quite a nice social thinking. Yeah, to have a community, but I don't feel like it's just with models I feel like it's an entire, especially in London. I feel like it's an entire creative community that support each other, and I want the best for each other, and that's really nice to be a part off. Do you have any products in the pipeline? I d'oh So I've been for the last year also been working on wearing a poetry book? I really Yeah, it's pretty much about the life of some money. Woman using Somali like poetry and prose because there's so many in the language is kind of is known as the poetic language because it's especially with like older grandparents apparent almost everything in the languages, either a poem or the saying, What's what stage are you at? I'm pretty much done, but I'm constantly in this. I think I just need to give myself a deadline because I'm constantly going back and changing things or looking for things to improve. I think you're always gonna be tweeting. Start exact. That is the nature of being a creative because you're never satisfied. So how many poems do you have to write to? Let's say the book. I have a about 20 on DH. It's I think that's suffice. I think it depends on what kind of book you want, you know? And how many pages minds about 33 pages. So it's so is it going to be in English? It's gonna be in English or are some things that might be in either Somalia? Arabic says. A big Arabic influence in the language. But most messages in English, of course. Amazing. And when can we expect that? Don't give me a deadline. Let me. It's a big step for me and I'm really nervous about it because it's not as a model model forever on DH. It's become history. Passion of mine. You've got your former college, okay, that teo my degree. But it's become a passion of mine. It's something I want to pursue, and I want to be. Yeah, I want to be that so it's exciting toe Have that, and it's also your own creativity, Not like you. You're going and you're you know you're part of some of our traditional suspicion. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, but for now, my great good to balance the poetry and and modelling because it's it's going, going okay. Is it quite a secret thing that have you anything up? Marital? No, not Ally. Just wanted. This isn't a thing. I wouldn't call it an excuse, but I think I'm not important.
Teo, wait to call
myself like I feel also or anything like that because I haven't spoken about it. Maybe I shouldn't have tonight. Manifested it by speaking about. Yeah, I guess I saw you. Now I have to release
it. That was beautiful, Bebe. Like I said, I think she's really gonna go far. She's already being described as a baby anymore. And she's just brilliant to work with. If you want to hear more about her modelling on her fabulous poetry, you can follow her on instagram at BB up. Dark day in the show Note. Thank you, Bebe, for being the best. If you enjoyed listening to the Medicare table, created conversations with me cherry snow. And you want to hear from more creative than subscribe to the podcast and follow us on instagram at the manicure table. If you have any feedback or you just want to get in touch, you can contact me either on Instagram at Cherry Snow or you can email manicure at cherry snow dot com. I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for listening.