By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijani designer Rufat Ismayil is behind the outfit that Efendi will be wearing at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021.
Rufat Ismayil is the Creative Director and Co-Founder of AFFFAIR brand. He is involved in the collection design and leads the innovative and creative lab of the garment production line.
The fashion designer has successfully presented his stunning collections in Italy, Iran, Turkey, UAE and other countries. His men's clothing collection was shown at Pitti Uomo 2015, the most important International event for menswear and men accessories collections.
In 2019, his fashion collection was successfully presented at New York Fashion Week. While creating these looks, the designer used chiffon, silk and other fabrics reminding the khari bulbul flower, the symbol of Azerbaijan's Karabakh region.
His stunning gowns were highly appreciated by fashionistas.
Speaking about Efendi's costume, the designer stressed that it will fully reflect the spirit of a strong, confident woman.
"Our main goal in creating a costume for Efendi was to convey the spirit of a strong, confident woman. In addition, the presence of national elements was an important point for us, and it was challenging to combine all this into one outfit. The most important thing is that Efendi in the costume should feel like a conqueror of hearts, because it is very important how the artist will present the outfit to the audience," said Rufat.
Efendi's costume will be adorned with precious and semi-precious stones; it will combine Azerbaijan's traditional elements but with a modern twist.
Meanwhile, Samira Efendi will represent Azerbaijan at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 with the song "Mata Hari".
Speaking about the meaning of the song, Efendi noted that it is about female power.
"It is very important to talk about strong women in order to remind our beautiful ladies that despite the fact that we still live in a world full of prejudices, a woman can do anything and female power cannot be compared with anything. And if suddenly you do not have enough inspiration now, let the stories of strong women in history become the source of that very charge of energy with which you can cope with everything and achieve even bigger success. There is a queen in each of us and I want to remind you that it's time to release her," said Efendi.
Lithuania, Slovenia, Russia, Sweden, Australia, North Macedonia, Ireland, Cyprus, Norway, Croatia, Belgium, Israel, Romania, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Malta will perform in the first semi-final on May 18. Samira Efendi will perform 14th in the first semi-final.
The second-semifinal will bring together San Marino, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Austria, Poland, Moldova, Iceland, Serbia, Georgia, Albania, Portugal, Bulgaria, Finland, Latvia, Switzerland and Denmark on May 20. The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 final night will take place on May 22.
Last year, the song contest was cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, fans of the music contest had a great chance to enjoy a spectacular show "Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light", featuring 41 songs of this year's entries.
During the show, Samira Efendi thrilled Eurovision fans with the song "Cleopatra".
As the singer says, Cleopatra is a song about trusting your gut instinct, standing up for yourself and being a "Queen" - even when things get tough and especially if someone betrays or hurts you.
"Cleopatra is a song about freedom, a celebration of all cultures and all sexualities. It's a song that is meant to inspire people to be who they truly are and to be proud of themselves just like Cleopatra. She was a queen who went through love, heartbreak, and betrayal, but she stood up for herself and is now remembered as an icon of strength and femininity," she said.
Notably, Azerbaijan marked its debut in 2008 with the duo of Elnur and Samir, who managed to become the eighth in the final with their song "Day after day".
The brilliant duet of Aysel and Arash, which represented Azerbaijan next year, took third place at the song contest, while Safura Alizada, who represented the country at the Eurovision 2010 in Oslo, became fifth.
On its fourth attempt with Ell and Nikki's "Running Scared" song, the Land of Fire won the event, bringing the contest to Baku's Crystal Hall in 2012. Ell and Nikki were the first mixed-gender duo to win the contest since 1963 and the first winners from Azerbaijan.
It is noteworthy that Azerbaijan reached the Top 5 in five consecutive contests - 3rd in 2009, 5th in 2010, 1st in 2011, 4th in 2012, and 2nd in 2013.
In 2018, Aysel Mammadova performed brilliantly at the Eurovision 2018 semi-final, but she couldn't make it to the final. The singer represented Azerbaijan with the song "X My Heart".
Azerbaijan's Chingiz Mustafayev impressed all Eurovision fans with his stunning performance in 2019. The singer finished in eighth place at the song contest.
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