Azerbaijani designer behind Sophie Couture dresses Heidi Klum for Golden Globes 2024

Gunel Babayeva has boutiques in Dubai and Baku, and has also dressed Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, among other celebrities

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At the 81st Golden Globes Awards in Beverly Hills on Sunday night, model-turned-presenter Heidi Klum stepped out in a voluptuous, strapless scarlet gown.

The fabric was caught in a great twirl on one hip, causing a cascade of dazzling red material. A showstopper of a look, it owes its old-school glamour to designer Gunel Babayeva, founder of the label Sophie Couture.

Hailing from Azerbaijan, Babayeva has gained traction in global circles as an increasing number of A-list stars turn to her for show-stopping, red-carpet-worthy looks.

Case in point, at the Cannes Film Festival last year, Babayeva dressed not one, but three global celebrities. Indian superstar Aishwarya Rai Bachchan turned to Babayeva for her sole appearance at the event, wearing a silver fishtail dress with a dramatic cowled hood.

Chinese actress Yuqi Zhang (aka Kitty Zhang) wore a black lace Sophie Couture jumpsuit, with a rich tangerine overskirt that was eye-catching, unexpected and utterly sensational. Kate Beckinsale, too, opted for Sophie Couture at Cannes, selecting a classic, full-skirted gown in inky black.

In her early thirties, mum-of-two Babayeva looks poised for global recognition. As we start 2024, Klum is the first of what we predict will be many more stars looking to the Baku designer for their glamorous turn on the red carpet.

Founded in 2015, Sophie Couture specialises in couture and bridal gowns, as well as ready-to-wear occasion pieces that channel lady-like elegance.

With boutiques in Dubai and Baku, the label has become something of a mainstay for the high-octane event dressing beloved by UAE and Azerbaijani society. Leaning deeply into romantic glamour, Babayeva creates looks from metres of airy tulle, decorated with thousands of hand-applied beads.

Handmade in Baku, each couture gown and bridal dress is a wearable piece of art, taking countless hours to achieve.

Updated: January 08, 2024, 9:56 AM