How the Fashion World Is Responding to the War in Ukraine

The fashion industry is a global community that brings together people from distant parts of the world for a common passion. When the news came that Russia invaded Ukraine, everyone from designers to editors got together to support the country. During Milan Fashion Week, Italian designer Giorgio Armani honored the dead Ukrainians with a minute of silence, while designer Demna Gvasalia, who personally survived the Russian war when his native Georgia was conquered in 2008, showed solidarity by decorating the chairs with Ukrainian flags at his presentation.

The designers were not the only ones who made a statement. The participants arrived in the sapphire-yellow colors of the country, combining fantastic elements of Fashion Week with a very real idea of the war. These moments of action raise the question: what is the responsibility of the fashion industry in times of conflict?

The role of fashion in times of excitement

“The fashion industry is powerful,” says Ukrainian designer Svetlana Beva. Bevsa, like many citizens of Ukraine, recently left their homeland because of the war. Although the designer is now safe in the Czech Republic, her husband, Vladimir Omeilayan, remained to support the territorial Defense Forces, which are a military component of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. As a recognized fashion designer and veteran (her brand has just been presented at the New York Fashion Week), Beva understands the influence that industry can have on military actions and the help of the people of her country.

“People can get used to the war very much, and if it lasts, people can forget and become interested in other things.”

“The fashion community has always had a strong voice — and not only in the aesthetic sense or in their ability to tell stories, but also financially,” says Beva.

FashionUnited estimates that the fashion industry is worth more than trillion. At this level of capital, there is a duty to help those in need — and many big names have chosen the cause. LVMH, Chanel, Kering and Hermès are just some of the companies that have closed their stores in Russia out of solidarity with the Ukrainian people. However, despite the spirit of camaraderie and support from the world community, there is a fear that consciousness will decrease.

“A lot of attention is being paid to Ukraine at the moment,” Bevza says. “But the truth is that people can get very used to the war, and if it goes on like this, people can forget and become interested in other things.”

Influence of the Russian-Ukrainian war on business

Since the invasion, the infrastructure of your company has completely changed. Colleagues who were once at arm’s length moved to Poland or Western Ukraine in search of refuge, and the production of their autumn/winter collection of 2022 was stopped.

“Everything has stopped – for me, for my Ukrainian colleagues,” she says. “Our warehouses, production companies, offices – everything is located in Kiev, that’s why the war stopped a lot of things.”

Other Ukrainian designers such as Anna Oktober and Julie Pelipas from faced with similar realities. Oktober was able to safely move to Paris and is still trying to coordinate his team and build up his collection in Estonia and Western Ukraine. Pelipas, who was supposed to present her collection of women’s clothing on the day of the outbreak of the war, directed her energy to connecting the best and brightest representatives of the creative community of Ukraine with the rest of the world through her digital Better platform. Community.

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