vor 2 years

Ukraine’s vibrant creative scene, young, self-aware, flourishing, has been catalyzing the shift in how the world views Eastern Europe.

Independent creators are proving their talents worldwide, as the country began to rise in sovereignty. The Ukrainian fashion scene has gained a very special place of importance: beloved and worn by Ukrainians, local brands have conquered the wardrobes a long time ago.

The passion for one’s culture combined with a modern approach has been strengthening communities and reviving traditional crafts. Ukrainian “Wardrobe-patriotism” goes a long way pridefully supporting small local businesses to established couturièrs. This loving and reciprocative relationship between individuals and brands has been inspiring the masses to more self-expression, more emotion, and individuality, and more thoughtfulness, and love for what’s native. Today, we want to throw a look at a selection of promising brands, with a distinctive visual narrative.

Inspired by the spirit of blooming Ukraine, with a lot of courage and desire to create, Katya Timoshenko founded the brand Katimo in 2015. Openly preaching acceptance and self-comfort of women, regardless of the statement or emotion they exude. Her designs quickly found the appreciation of many Ukrainian women.  Intuitive, minimalist design, applied with a lot of thought and consideration, letting the individuality of the wearer shine. All collections are carefully produced by an in-house manufacturer in the heart of Kyiv. The new Spring-Summer collection has been created in wartime conditions — to the sound of sirens and under the threat of missile attacks becoming a symbol of purity, inviolability of spirit, and future victory.

Next to the nostalgic color palette of the collection, accessories excite with their symbolism. Snowdrop flowers, represent hope and victory of good over evil while some pieces are embellished with pins covered in natural stones — so-called “safety pins” believed to protect against evil spirits and bring luck.

The designer Lilia Litkovskaya counts to the most prominent designers of the Ukrainian fashion scene, known far beyond national borders since 2009. “Masculine shapes on feminine shoulders” – the designer refers to her distinctive style masterfully combining bold and flowy silhouettes, and structure clashes. Reworking motives from the past and keeping sacred handcraft traditions, Litkovskaya balances the past and future calibrating it for the needs of today. Her last collection is reactive to the russian-Ukrainian war and incorporates visual elements instantly recognizable by those, touched by the atrocities, as well as carrying the resilient and free Ukrainian spirit.

Fostering the Ukrainian culture and showing gems of Ukrainian design abroad Lilia is curating charity events in support of the community.

Anna October is a Kyiv-based womenswear brand visually discussing sensitivity and freedom. The core of Anna October collections consists of lightweight dresses embodying the feminine side of the brand, while the casual design elements bring out the modern side. Body-hugging silhouettes complemented delicate cashmere knits and lingerie pieces. Anna October’s pieces are designed to maintain the most treasured emotions of being confident and sexy, which the designer herself describes as a “date-ready look” shows off the curves of a woman’s body while offering ultimate comfort to the wearer.
Being founded in 2010, the designer trusts in her fine pattern-making skills as the primary tool for conveying her message of playfulness and elegance.
Anna October has developed a sustainable ethos within her brand by utilizing deadstock textiles for her collections, handcraft, and expert-tailoring, making sure the pieces live a long and beloved life.

The spirit of the current Spring/Summer 2022 collection can be expressed in four words: Greece, bohemia, sunsets, and the 70s. Mixing the nostalgic, calm shades of the sea, sun rays, beach stones, and soft clouds, she fills her collection with flow satin dresses with rhombuses and Richelieu edges, for her sporty pieces, she plays with cheeky cutouts.

Founded in 2010 by Ukrainian designer and stylist Irina Dzhus, the brand is distinctive for its avant-garde shapes that easily change and transform. With utility and ubiquity at the core, DZHUS has gotten international recognition: the designer has been short-listed for the International Woolmark Prize back in 2015 and won the Cruelty-free Fashion prize at Best Fashion Awards in 2019. A sustainable approach strengthens the forward-thinking vision of DZHUS.

The non-conforming, unisex silhouettes stand out while speaking to a very particular customer group: cosmopolitan individuals with a wide horizon and a strong desire to express themselves.

Picture courtesy of mentioned brands/PR

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