Fashion designers across the world have come together in support of Ukraine as their latest designs hit the runway. According to ELLE, solidarity was the overarching theme at many fashion shows as the crisis in Ukraine escalated with Russia’s invasion, and even before then for some designers. Many designers and models have taken steps to support Ukraine financially and with humanitarian aid, while others have also taken a stand against Russia as they continue to wage war on Ukraine.
Nanushka is one fashion brand that has taken action against Russia by suspending business arrangements with their Russian wholesale partners, and by putting deliveries on hold for now and for future orders. In an interview with ELLE.com, the CEO of Nanushka, Peter Baldaszti, explained that the decision was not political, but was made because they did not want to “directly or indirectly participate in financing trade with Russia.” He has suspended online shipments to customers in Russia as well. Baldaszti noted that his company was able to take such actions immediately because they are small, but it may be more difficult for companies that operate differently in Russia. Since Nanushka announced their decision, other brands such as H&M Group have followed their lead and suspended their own operations in Russia.
Many designers are also funding support for Ukraine. Nanushka has partnered with the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta to support refugees by “reserving hotel rooms and hostels, donating food and clothing, providing transport to and within Budapest, and enlisting the services of interpreters to help navigate the situation.” They are also helping Ukrainian fashion designers maintain their businesses by helping them continue their work and manufacturing by giving them access to raw materials and other resources. The LVMH Group is another brand that has taken action against Russia, and has donated nearly $5.5 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Models including Bella Hadid, Gigi Hadid, Kaia Gerber, and others have promised to donate a portion of their earnings walking the runways to Ukrainian efforts, with Gigi pledging all of her earnings.
As the shows of Fashion Week arrived, special tributes were made by designers who displayed the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag, and themes that reflected the crisis the people of Ukraine continue to experience. Many designers who are from Eastern Europe and familiar with a Russian occupation empathized with Ukrainians and felt it important to adjust their shows to spread awareness of their plight and bravery. Baldaszti explained that with its great influence, the fashion industry has a responsibility to inspire others, and bringing attention Ukrainians in need was one way in which they set an example to help them by supporting humanitarian efforts.