This week marks one year since Ukraine was invaded by Russian forces on February 24 2022.
Amid the ongoing war, and despite the air raid sirens and missile attacks, Ukrainian designers continue to create, and as people look for ways to support the people of Ukraine, why not invest in a fashion piece from a Ukrainian designer.
"This is our resistance," a host of Ukrainian designers announced this week at Ukrainian Fashion Week, held this year in London due to the war. "To create in spite of everything. Despite working in the most unstable and difficult conditions, under the sounds of air sirens... Together with our teams, we continue to work on the collections.
"We know that all of this is for the sake of our common peaceful future. For the sake of inviting all of you next season to our show in liberated and free Ukraine.
"We will never destroy, but we will always create."
We've collated some of our favourite Ukrainian designers below, in case you wanted to update your wardrobe and are able to show support at the same time.
Creating just two collections a year, Katimo focuses on high quality materials, attention to detail and premium tailoring. This translates into sleek and timeless clothes, which you can build your wardrobe around. The winter collection presented a wide range of clothing made of carefully selected natural materials such as cotton and wool, with timeless cuts, including quilted ponchos and coats, wool pantsuits, silk separates and knitted dresses.
You'll no doubt already be familiar with Sleeper's designs, one of the best known Ukrainian fashion brands. Founded by former fashion editors Kate Zubarieva and Asya Varetsa, the label was launched it in 2014 and has become known for its feather-trimmed pyjamas and floaty nighties, which double up as the perfect party and holiday clothes.
3. NADYA DZYAK
One of our favourite Ukrainian fashion brands, NADYA DZYAK is well known for extraordinary cuts and feminine silhouettes. With 80s-inspired puffed sleeves and signature hand-stitched pleated elements, the latest collection is super extra, yet you can easily mix and match it with more toned-down pieces.
Vikele Studio bags are designed by founder Victoriya, in Ukraine. Each bag is made of the highest quality Italian leather, and is designed to last a lifetime. The classic shapes blended with modern silhouettes make each Vikele Studio design unique- an investment piece you’ll treasure for years.
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Norba is a Ukrainian brand of essentialwear - sportswear aimed to be worn in and out of gym - launched in 2018 by two sisters, Olha and Helen Norba. While it focuses on eco-conscious activewear, its minimal pieces can easily be weaved into your everyday wardrobe, whether you're exercising or not.
Combining more than a half-century of experience in handmade shoemaking and modern technologies, Kachorovska atelier mastered the art of the perfect fitting shoe, crafted its skills and style, experimented with forms, lines, and materials over decades. In 2015, it released its own line of shoes and handbags - the result of searches, work, and inspiration. They focus on comfortable, temperate designs, self-sufficient classics with unexpected accents and natural materials. A perfect example of how stylish Ukrainian fashion brands are.
KSENIASCHNAIDER is a Kyiv-based independent fashion house founded in 2011 by a married couple Ksenia Schnaider and Anton Schnaider, a Ukrainian fashion designer and a Russian graphic designer.
The collections cover women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, reworked, upcycled, patchwork, denim, and accessories. Ksenia's signature cuts, techniques, and attention to detail, with an emphasis on tailoring and sustainable use of materials, identify the collections, as does Anton's well-defined philosophy 'design minus design'.
Paskal is renowned for delicate silhouettes and minimalistic shapes, which are reminiscent of innovative architecture and nature. Beauty is derived from the garments core components and construction, laser cutting is at the core of the brand's DNA.
The result is sensitive design with a strong personality.
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
- Jenny ProudfootFeatures Editor
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