The most beautiful landscapes of Ukraine through the eyes of Ukrainian designers
Vogue Ukraine spoke with 8 Ukrainian designers who confided in us about their backgrounds and the vision they have for their country.
Ukraine is a country in the heart of Europe that celebrated 30 years of independence last year but has a history of thousands of years. Throughout this period, it has formed a nation, having endured many external and internal threats, showing the world that it is ready to defend its freedom on all fronts – diplomatic, military, economic, and cultural. Fashion brands have also played a significant role in the international promotion of the country. They took part in fashion weeks from New York to Shanghai; appeared in the wardrobes of royal families members and celebrities worldwide, and TV series that millions have watched. In addition, Ukrainian brands love to show off all the beauty of our country in their lookbooks and campaigns – from the wooded Carpathians to the sun-scorched Kherson steppes. We have selected the brightest pictures to remind everyone – Ukraine is a land of love and peace.
In the fall of 2020, Ukrainian brand Ruslan Baginskiy presented its second couture collection, called TSVIT, dedicated to Ukrainian craft traditions. He continued the idea of introducing Ukraine to the world with a series of images created by the photo duo Synchrodogs and a stylist, Julie Pelipas. The result was a full-fledged expedition to the best and untouched places of the country. In the frame, you can see the Ukrainian Carpathians, pink salt lakes, and Kherson sands, which are difficult to distinguish from the real desert.
Ukrainian brand GUDU dedicated its spring-summer 2022 collection to Kyiv — the city that welcomed Georgian designer Lasha Mdinaradze in 2015 and helped realize all his creative plans here. Kyiv's streets' energy and spirit of freedom helped create the collection. In this collection, the strong art component combines with streetwear and electronic music, without which it is impossible to imagine the city today. The face of the collection was DJ Gael Abakarova, a native of Dagestan who now lives and works in Kyiv. In the video for the collection, she walks the city's streets, plunging us all into their rhythm and making us love them even more.
Last autumn, the Ukrainian brand IENKI IENKI travelled to the Carpathians to showcase a new collection, in which designers combined innovative technology with a Ukrainian national costume. This time, a traditional "keptar" (a sleeveless fur coat, classic for the population of the Carpathians and Prykarpattia) got a new life, which looked incredibly atmospheric against the backdrop of snow-covered slopes and wooden huts.
In summer 2019, Ukrainian brand Shmelevsky showcased the beauty of the Azov coast and steppe landscapes in its advertising campaign. "My brother and I grew up in the south of Ukraine, not far from the Azov Sea with its steppe nature. To this day, we often come there to the coastal holiday. One of our favourite places is Prymorsʹkyy Posad, a tiny picturesque village on the banks of the Domuzla river estuary. It's hard to find another place where pristine nature and wild, deserted beaches combine so harmoniously. The numerous estuaries and bays give this place a special atmosphere," said brand designer Stas Shmelevsky at the time.
In the BEVZA spring-summer 2021 collection, Ukrainian designer Svetlana Bevza presented ceramic and decorative accessories in collaboration with Nadiia Shapoval brand Nadiia. To create the advertising campaign, photographer Stepan Lisovsky and Nadia Shapoval toured small villages and photographed local Ukrainians living in the same places where the Trypillian settlements lived.
In November last year, designer Yulia Paskal presented the Paskal Resort 2022 collection inspired by her encounter with the sculptor of dynamic installations Vasya Dmitruk and a trip to his studio in the Odesa port shipyard. The brand shot the lookbook for the collection there as well — an abandoned factory was turned into an art cluster, urban landscapes, and the sea became the perfect backdrop for Paskal's romantic images.
Ruslan Baginskiy has been researching Ukraine for a long time in his advertising campaigns. Back in 2018, the brand's team went to the Askania-Nova Nature Reserve to show the new collection of hats and all the beauty of this place. "Untouched nature, virgin land with wild animals and incredible flora — for me, this is a real place of strength," — said Ruslan Baginskiy.
In its advertising campaigns, the Kyiv Central Department Store or TsUM also constantly travels to Ukraine: sometimes to the Carpathians, sometimes to Odesa, and sometimes stays in Kyiv, demonstrating all its beauty. One of the most memorable shootings of TsUM took place on Arabat Spit (Henichesk region, South of Ukraine). Photographer Serhiy Vasyliyev and stylist Yevhenia Skvarska made here shots filled with the sun, the sea, and the local salty air.
Text: Violetta Fedorova
Translation: Mariia Zhdanova