A group of Ukrainian designers are trying to do their part to bolster the country’s economy by keeping, if not increasing, their businesses while the Russian invasion of Ukraine intensifies.
Ukrainian fashion in Paris is being championed by international fashion consultant Jen Sidary, who launched online platform Angelsforfashion in late March, a month after Russian forces first invaded Ukraine.
From October 1st to 6th, six Ukrainian designers will be showing their collections in Paris after Sidary helped set up the Good Six showroom as a location. Frolov, Kachorovska and Chereshnivska, who previously showed in Paris, will return, while Litkovska, My Sleeping Giant and Oliz are new additions. Retailers, stylists, celebrities and editors can expect a selection of women’s clothing, unisex clothing, shoes and scarves.
This collaboration occurs through support of the USAID Competitive Economy Program. Natalia Petrova, USAID project manager at the Economic Growth Bureau, said that falling demand due to Ukraine’s shrinking population and disrupted supply chain is prompting companies to explore export opportunities.
The brands exhibiting in the Good Six showroom want to expand their distribution internationally. Some, including Ivan Frolov and Lilia Litkovska, who recently changed the spelling of their last names, visited the US for a few days earlier this month to attend a group presentation during New York Fashion Week. By visiting different cities, the Ukrainian designers try to make personal connections so that they are not just names on a label. They are also following the edict of Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky and his wife Olena Zelenska, who have urged entrepreneurs in Ukraine – in all fields – to continue doing business in support of the domestic economy.
Sidary noted that the event is not a charity drive and that Ukrainian designers are doubly challenged as some have relocated to other countries and are now commuting overland from nearby countries to Ukraine to regularly check in with their respective teams and to report to production, as flights to and from Ukraine are currently not possible.