Ukraine’s fashion industry is calling for help following the ongoing war in Ukraine with a number of online initiatives, while the country’s official website states: “This site has not been updated since the morning of February 24” and adds: “Spring has not come to Ukraine yet.
The industry has been quick to show its support and empower others to do the same. For example, Angel of Fashion is an e-commerce site that hopes to bring Ukrainian designs to customers all over the world, except Russia. Featured in the New York Times last month, the site features 30 Ukrainian brands. It features dresses, bags and other accessories from designers such as Frolov, Foberini and Bob Basset and is curated by Ukrainian Alina Bairamova.
Jen Sidary, CEO and Founder, explains: “Angel of Fashion is a place where you can discover, buy and personally support the Ukrainian fashion industry. Here, you can find new content and styles by discovering the creations of each amazing brand. You’ll get to know each designer and develop a personal emotional connection to their work. Please buy with confidence knowing that you are supporting these businesses with your purchase, as the money goes directly to supporting the brand and its creative employees. Discover, desire, connect and enjoy the innovative Ukrainian fashion industry. Become a fan for life, so we can all continue to uphold freedom forever.
Publication of news Forbes reported that Ukrainian brand Katimo has successfully reopened. Based in Kyiv, husband and wife team Katya Timoshenko and Vitaliy Panov, co-founders of Katimo, made the decision to restart operations in order to pay staff salaries and support their country. Forbes explains that since March 1, Katimo has donated 20% of all revenue to charitable funds that support the Armed Forces and other local causes.
Angel of Fashion and Katimo feature established designers, but another website has also been launched which features new designers as well as fashion workers.
Palianytsia takes its name from a traditional bread made in Ukraine, which was difficult for Russian occupiers to pronounce, the website explains.
“Due to the war in our country, many companies have taken a break: some have their productions in hot spots, some can no longer financially support employees,” he says while adding: “The power of ur purchase of our population has dropped sharply: Ukrainians live in times of war and their needs have changed dramatically, so we want to introduce Ukrainian talent to people around the world.
The site features fashion from established Ukrainian designers such as Ksenia Schnaider and Poustovit, as well as new designers who had to give up everything to get to safety.
It features brief biographies of the brands, with a link to shop directly on the site or on Instagram. The website says each brand listed can deliver orders worldwide, although this may change due to the unstable situation. The site also states that instead of producing new collections, many of these designers have taken to sewing bulletproof vests for Territorial Defense soldiers.
By buying Ukrainian clothes, he continues, you help people keep their jobs and pay taxes to the state budget. Some profits go to humanitarian aid and the defense of Ukraine. The site also contains a section for direct donations.
The project was started by Masha and Lisa. Before the war, Lisa was a fashion editor at BURO, and Masha kept her job as a manager at a construction company and says she is preparing to rebuild the country after the war. In the meantime, she wants to help Ukrainian fashion companies survive.
Last week, the European Confederation of Clothing and Textiles (Euratex) launched the EU-Ukraine Textile Initiative (EUTI), which aims to facilitate cooperation between European and Ukrainian textile and clothing companies. Euratex offers a single point of contact for Ukrainian companies seeking support and cooperation with their EU counterparts, and vice versa. Olena Garkusha, an experienced manager of the Ukrainian textile industry, now based in Brussels, will serve as the main point of contact.
Some brands, such as Boohoo Group and Asos, quickly shut down their Russian websites in a show of solidarity and many others donated to the British Red Cross to support its Ukraine Crisis Appeal. H&M Group was one of many fashion brands that donated clothes and other essentials and also donated to Save the Children and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) .
Just Style followed the war in Ukraine and created a timeline of how clothing and footwear brands and retailers are responding to the conflict.