With Russia's ongoing war on Ukraine, Vogue Scandinavia's Mikko Puttonen lists the Ukrainian brands to shop and support right now
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As the world banded together in support of Ukraine during the ongoing crisis, the fashion industry and interested searched for ways to help. “Order Ukrainian brands through their websites, when everything is over, we will fulfil all orders, but now brands need money to support their employees," Vogue Ukraine’s website editor-in-chief Violetta Fedorova implored Vogue Scandinavia's readers.
Below, we've gathered the brands to support now and where to buy them:
Established in 2015 and located in the sunny coastal town of Odesa, sustainable denim brand Aisenberg is one to watch for playful cuts and innovative silhouettes. ‘We look for inspiration everywhere on the shores of Black sea’ says founder Tanja Fedoseeva. "Boats in the middle of the water and fishermen that bring fresh catch of the day by early morning – it can be named a much wider associative series, but these are some essential points to describe Odesa." The city, much akin to the French seaside towns in Bretagne relies on blue jeans as a staple, often worn with white bandeau crop top, blouse or Breton shirt.
From black to white, from straight to baggy boyfriend, the brand's jeans go beyond the basics with intricate pocket details and elevated everyday staples. Its singular styles can be found in the brand's own web shop.
Worn by the likes of Adele, Rihanna and Dua Lipa, Marianna Senchina's sartorial universe is one of sophisticated femininity. Established in 2015, the brand is run by sisters Marianna and Natalia. The brand’s aesthetics is a unique mix of garment elements from different epochs, as well as incorporating colors and prints. With an air of retro romanticism, the brand's signature details –as seen in polkadot prints, ruffles, and bows –are integral in crafting the vivacious designs seemingly made for vixens of both the past and present.
Its spring/summer collection, a feast of colours, corsets, and tailored two-pieces, is available on the brand's own website.
Kulakovsky is all about classics with a twist, those elevated wardrobe staples upgraded by creative design. Handcrafted, the leather pieces are all made in the brand’s atelier in Odesa, Ukraine. Artur Kulakovsky, the creative designer behind the brand, has been engaged with leather goods production for nearly ten years, helping his family run their atelier and later creating his own fashion brand of investment pieces to rely on for seasons to come.
Kulakovsky's garments are available on the brand's website.
Showing its latest collection at New York Fashion Week, J'amemme's pieces are positively ethereal. Working with sheer, French pleated fabrics in carefully crafted silhouettes and sculptural – almost architectural – knitwear, the brand describes itself as "wearable couture". Made in Ukraine and founded in 2018 byJulie Yarmoliuk, the brand explores the strength of simplistic shapes in unique fabrics, contours and textures that crafts a contemporary take on femininity
The latest collection is available through the brand's website.
IENKI IENKI is a Kyiv-based outerwear brand by Dima Ievenko, known for colourful puffer jackets, insulated pants and mini skirts beloved by celebrities like Bella and Gigi Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Hailey Bieber, and Grimes. IENKI IENKI aims to challenge the traditional idea of outerwear by introducing more flattering silhouettes and innovative designs.
In addition to outerwear wardrobe essentials, they also make cute balaclavas, hats and accessories available on their website. IENKI IENKI is also stocked by international online stores such as Farfetch, Flannels and YOOX.
Katimō is a timeless, seasonal and elegant womenswear brand founded by Katya Timoshenko. The Kyiv-based brand focuses on minimal tailoring, premium quality materials and attention to detail influenced by the contrasting elements of past and future, male and female and strength and lightness. All the pieces are designed and manufactured in the historical area of Kyiv, and you can shop the current collection on Katimō's webshop.
Katimō is currently donating all of the sales from their website for the Ukrainian army fund.
Sleeper is a brand producing ethical multipurpose loungewear for any occasion by the designers and former fashion editors Kate Zubarieva and Asya Varetsa. The pyjamas, feather-trimmed jersey sets and cotton sweats are stocked by Luisa Via Roma and Net-a-Porter, in addition to the brand's online store. Sleepwear was never this sophisticated and chic. It is no surprise that the brand's fans include influencers and celebrities such as Eva Chen, Katy Perry, Veronika Heilbrunner, and Chloë Grace Moretz.
Headwear designer Ruslan Baginskiy founded his namesake brand in 2015 in Lviv and has become a pioneer and icon of headwear inspired by art, Ukrainian national costumes, archival family photos and vintage fashion photography. His hats have been worn by hat-lovers from Madonna to Janelle Monáe and Anna Dello Russo, just to name a few. Ruslan Baginskiy hats come in all materials and shapes, from a crystal-embellished cowboy hat to wool-blend balaclavas, straw fedoras, and everything in between.
Creative couple fashion designer Ksenia Schnaider and graphic designer Anton Schnaider founded the sustainable and independent women’s and menswear brand Kseniaschnaider. The brand is known for reworked denim and jackets, asymmetrical jeans, “demi-denims”, and patchwork techniques. The brand’s garments are produced in Ukraine using sustainable technologies and materials, implementing their signature raw and edgy aesthetic. Last year Kseniaschnaider was named The Best Menswear Designer of the Year 2021 by Ukraine Fashion Week.
You can shop the pieces on their website as well as on YOOX. In addition to purchasing their clothes, you can also choose to support the Kseniaschnaider 30-person team by ordering a support card on their website.
Less is more when it comes to Bevza. The Kyiv-based womenswear brand by Svitlana Bevza trusts in sophisticated, clean silhouettes, sharp tailoring and a muted colour palette embodying Ukrainian heritage. Ethical approaches towards nature and production are part of the brand's DNA. The brand uses sustainable materials such as recycled plastic and leftover materials and uses carefully considered techniques to create long-lasting garments. Bevza showed their SS22 collection during New York fashion week, and the collection includes flowing dresses, crop tops and sailor tops and hats in monochrome tones and bright pops of turquoise, yellow and pink.
The collection is available to purchase on their website.
The Ukrainian brand Gunia Project by two women, Natasha Kamenska and Maria Gavryliuk, makes handcrafted garments, accessories, and interior items for everyday life. Their lace and silk head scarfs, embroidered collars, crafted jewellery, hand-painted ceramics and other products are produced and inspired by the traditional Ukrainian ethnic culture and heritage. “Each collection is a unique combination of design thinking, deep ethnographic research and artistic approach towards craftsmanship," the brand writes on its website.
Gunia Project has launched a campaign to support Ukraine, selling its yellow and blue bird candles donating all the sales to the Ukrainian army and animals shelter. You can support the campaign on the brand's website, where you can also find and purchase the whole range of their products.
Kris Marán is a family-owned brand founded by a mother and two sisters, Kristina, Maria, and Anna Stelmakh. Working across two generations united by one aim, the brand sets out to design a day to night core wardrobe. Known for its statement coats and well-cut, minimalist suits, the brand is all about tactility with a clear focus on textures and fabric. "You just have to feel the right one for every piece" is the brand motto says the Stelmakh family, balancing silk, wool and knitted fabrics in its designs. Located in Ternopil, Ukraine, the brand's manufacturing is located in the same space as the headquarters, with the Stelmakhs supervising the quality of each seam.
Kris Marán is available on krismaran.com.
Litkovskaya is a minimal fashion brand by Ukrainian fashion designer Lilia Litkovskaya, known for tailoring, craftsmanship, and strong shapes. The brand’s collection is stocked online on Farfetch and in Litkoskaya’s online store.
Litkoskaya comes from a family of four generations of tailors, and she aims to maintain traditions while implementing modern innovations, combining masculine and feminine. Lilia Litkovskaya was the only Ukrainian designer in Paris during AW22 Fashion week. Instead of presenting her collection at the Tranoï trade show, she dedicated the space to showcase 45 Ukrainian designers who could not make it to Paris.
Fashion designer Anton Belinskiy founded his namesake brand in 2009. His label, known for the edgy and conceptual cool-kid aesthetics loved by the Ukrainian club scene, snowballed in popularity. In 2015, the designer was nominated for the prestigious LVHM Prize, garnering interest from an international audience.
The brand can be found at online retailer APOC store and have collaborated with brands like New Balance. Anton Belinskiy collaborated with German brand 032c; they launched “FREE UKRAINE” T-Shirt, which is now sold out on 032c’s web store.
Vita Kin is the founder of her eponymous label, initially inspired by Ukrainian heritage and now exploring other artisanal techniques of various ancient cultures. The brand's signature handmade dresses, skirts and blouses are made in the brand's workshop in Kyiv, Ukraine. Each garment embodies Kin's artistic and colourful vision that has gathered a cult following on the brand's Instagram.
Ethical womenswear brand Anna October was founded in Odesa, Ukraine, in 2010. Anna October’s design philosophy focuses on creating pieces that spark joy and excitement for the wearer. The brand produces all collections locally in Ukraine using deadstock and ethical materials, transforming feminity in a new exciting way. Anna October was nominated for the LVHM prize in 2014.
Led by Georgian designer Lasha Mdinaradze’s creative direction, Gudu is a Kyiv-based brand. Experimenting with bright colours, electric prints, unexpected materials and shapes, the brand always focuses on tailoring and female empowerment. Gudu believes in show-stopping garments and looks that don’t need accessorising, and it’s no surprise Gudu’s muse is a rebellious and eccentric character - “A woman is always in the centre of my attention” – says Mdinaradze.
You can shop Gudu from their online store.