Ukrainian brands returned triumphantly to New York City and presented an unforgettable showcase of their Spring/Summer 2024 collections from nine esteemed Ukrainian designers.
The journey was born two years ago, in September 2021, when USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine started collaborating with Jen Sidary, a Global Fashion Brand Expert. Four of the country’s most elite Ukrainian fashion brands received the first fashion tradeshow grant to showcase their collections at the prestigious New York Fashion Week, which would help them export to foreign markets.
The showroom event this season, hosted for the fourth season thanks to the USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine in the iconic setting of New York City, was an invitation-only affair, graced by a mix of buyers, press, celebrities, and influencers who had eagerly awaited that spectacular moment to explore nine Ukrainian fashion designers.
The support and showroom experience had expanded tremendously since its first showcase two years ago. Attendees were privileged to witness the awe-inspiring creations from the forefront of so many more Ukrainian fashion brands. From September 11th to 15th, the exclusive showroom was open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Located at the renowned Standard Hotel East Village, 25 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003, that showroom offered an opportunity for industry insiders to explore the collections up close and personal.
On September 10th from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, a memorable invitation-only presentation affair was held for only seventy-five hand-picked guests who viewed a presentation of the exquisite Ukrainian visionary designers on models who strolled amongst the audience, bringing the collections to life and immersing the audience in an alluring fashion experience. Exclusive designer interviews from Ukrainians traveling to the United States offered attendees a glimpse into the creative minds behind those remarkable collections, providing unique insights into the inspirations and stories woven into each piece.
Adding to the excitement, a striking Ukrainian mural by WAONE took center stage, embodying the essence of Ukrainian futurism and artistic expression. The mural, displayed in partnership with The Standard Hotels, was returned for that special event and displayed in the front of the hotel. To further elevated the ambiance, a live Ukrainian DJ spun entrancing tunes, infusing the VIP event with electric energy that complemented cutting-edge designs.
An unprecedented lineup of nine Ukrainian designers – a record-breaking achievement, surpassing any previous showcases. This event was also marked by the launch of ten Ukrainian brands from ANGELFORFASHION.com on the offline wholesale showroom platform NuOrder. This strategic move allowed buyers to view selections year-round and place orders online, further streamlining the fashion buying process.
The impact of Ukrainian fashion reached beyond the runway, as Ukrainian Brands proudly acknowledged the USAID CEP in Ukraine grant awarded to Lviv Fashion Week, exemplifying the global recognition of Ukrainian fashion’s significance and cultural influence.
Jen Sidary, Founder and CEO of Angel for Fashion, reminisces about her significant journey, remarking, “It was the Summer of 2021, when I pitched the idea to the USAID CEP Chief of Party. I suggested a grant opportunity to showcase four Ukrainian brands at New York Fashion Week that September. Thanks to USAID Competitive Economy Program, we have been presenting Ukrainian brands to foreign markets worldwide ever since. Our success since then is a testament to the extraordinary talent and potential within the Ukrainian fashion industry.”
This remarkable showroom and presentation event for the creative excellence of Ukrainian designers underscored the resilience and determination of the country’s fashion industry. The USAID Competitive Economy Program fostered growth by supporting Ukrainian companies such as Lviv Fashion Week, which used the grant to showcase these designers at an exclusive trade show. This initiative demonstrated the impact of American generosity in driving development results, which promoted a path to recipient self-reliance and global expansion.
“The initiative aims to spotlight the extraordinary diversity within the spectrum of styles Ukrainian fashion brands offer. These designers exemplify excellence by employing the finest craftsmanship and utilizing top-tier materials, setting the standard for innovation in the industry. Each brand is committed to the ethos of sustainable fashion practices, magnifying Ukraine’s inherent innovation while creating jobs and supporting Ukraine’s economy through its creative industries,” said Olesya Zaluska, Chief of the Party for USAID’s Competitive Economy Program.
The exclusive showroom in New York was a testament to the vibrant and ever-evolving fashion landscape, showcasing the forefront of Ukrainian design talent. This showroom and presentation event allowed an exceptional opportunity for buyers, media, influencers, and industry professionals from around the world to explore, engage, and support the essence of Ukrainian fashion in an exclusive setting. Ukrainian fashion embodied a unique investment in any discerning wardrobe.
“After showcasing Ukrainian designers to foreign markets for the last two years, I knew we had to take the mission to the next level by focusing throughout the year on wholesale orders for the brands. This is why I hired a VP of Wholesale for Angel for Fashion, and we launched some of our designers on NuOrder’s online showroom in July. Buyers wanted to place orders and reorders for the Ukrainian brands so we had to offer them this streamlined process as the brands can produce products so quickly for the retail stores as they own their factories, so it makes perfect sense to grow the wholesale business even further for the designers” – Jen Sidary, founder and CEO of ANGELFORFASHION.com.
New Season and Incredible Opportunities For the Ukrainian Fashion Industry!
This season, the Ukrainian fashion scene witnessed a dynamic convergence of returning brilliance and novel ingenuity, all thanks to the USAID Competitive Economy Program. “We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting endeavor to promote Ukrainian fashion globally,” said Daria Yankovska, Co-Founder of Lviv Fashion Week. “The Ukrainian fashion industry has always been a hub of creativity and innovation, and this trade mission will undoubtedly accelerate its journey to international recognition.”
Representing a thrilling array of talent, a group of new and dynamic brands – including A.M.G, Gudu, Gunia Project, J’Ammeme, Kachorovska, My Sleeping Gypsy, Omelia, Samokish, and T.Mosca – took center stage. This collective of visionary brands unveiled an eclectic exploration encompassing women’s apparel alongside an exquisite array of footwear and jewelry.
A.M.G. Captures the Fearless Essence of Modern, Charismatic Women.
Designed by Alyona Bettyar, it blends practicality with aesthetics, empowering women to radiate confidence. With timeless elegance as its hallmark, A.M.G. transcends trends. Their signature suit, a global hit, embodies luxury and empowerment, uniting a community of empowered women. A.M.G. reveres the intricacies of modern femininity, employing eco-conscious materials for sustainability. Every meticulously curated piece beckons you to embrace individuality and refinement. Beyond mere fashion, it asserts dominance, weaving together poise, aspiration, and authenticity… Read more & view the collection.
GUDU Transcends the Realm of Fashion, Emerging as an Homage to the Intricate Symphony of Womanhood.
Lasha Mdinaradze’s self-sufficient designs reveal the brand’s aesthetics, which require no accessories to complete the look. GUDU garments, with their eyes-stopping silhouettes and strong shapes, beautifully adorn and revere the female body…Read more & view the collection.
Weaves an Enchanting Narrative That Embraces the Very Essence of Traditional Culture
Gunia Project presents garments, accessories, and home décor, seamlessly blending heritage with contemporary living. Every piece emerges from a symphony of authenticity and design, meticulously crafted to integrate into everyday life’s fabric seamlessly…Read more & view the collection.
J’AMEMME Epitomizes Wearable Purity, Distinguished by Its Architectural Silhouettes and Iconic Pleats.
Handcrafted with meticulous detail, its hyperbolized shapes and volumes are driven by a zero-waste ethos. The brand’s DNA lies in unique fabrics that celebrate vulnerability and power…Read more & view the collection.
A Footwear Brand with Exquisite Craftsmanship and Creative Designs
Fusing traditional shoemaking with modern aesthetics, Kachorovska’s shoes are cherished for their elegance, comfort, and distinctiveness. This is a comfortable, temperate design, self-sufficient classic with unexpected accents and natural materials…Read more & view the collection.
MY SLEEPING GYPSY
MY SLEEPING GYPSY Embodies a Unique Philosophy in the Realm of Fashion.
They believe clothing is not just attire but a statement that resonates with the individual and the environment. Using captivating embroideries, they draw attention to the importance of mindful consumption. Inspired by ancestral wisdom and craft, My Sleeping Gypsy’s designs fuse cultural heritage with contemporary expression, offering a glimpse into the past while empowering the present…Read more & view the collection.
A Ukrainian Fashion Brand Of Redesigned Shirts That Aims To Increase Tolerance And Acceptance Among The Audience
They do not divide people by appearance, gender, or race. OMELIA recycles vintage and stock shirts. This way, they do not pollute the planet with overproduction waste and give clothes a second life…Read more & view the collection.
Stands as a Testament to the Union of European Craftsmanship and Ukrainian Heritage in Jewelry
The brand transforms jewelry into art, infusing each creation with love and meticulous attention. Bolstered by a distinctive technique and style and a commitment to quality, SAMOKISH jewelry showcases unparalleled design…Read more & view the collection.
T.MOSCA Offers an Artistic Touch on Knitwear and Everyday Routine Pieces
Uses the highest quality materials such as cotton, wool, and mohair. The idea of the collection reflects the light movement of the adventurous lady. She is flying through life, lifted by the wind and her lightness. There are iconic dresses and suits but upgraded with feathers…Read more & view the collection.
Jen Sidary is a Global Fashion Expert with an illustrious three-decade career as the President of Sales for Vivienne Westwood America and the Head of Zappos luxury website who is now leading the Ukraine Fashion movement in New York. Pioneering a mere month after the conclusion of the Ukrainian conflict, Sidary launched ANGELFORFASHION.com – an online sanctuary preserving the Ukrainian fashion landscape.
“The embrace of USAID is a beacon for the Ukrainian fashion sector and is imperative for their growth. Participating in this grand endeavor is an honor beyond words. During my decades in fashion, I never foretold such a tangible impact on independent designers. I find myself in a moment of profound gratitude, privileged to witness the country’s multifaceted aid to Ukraine and all its creative talent,” Jen Sidary articulated with emotion.
USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine (USAID CEP) supports business startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to become more competitive in domestic and international markets, fosters a simplified and more transparent business-enabling environment, and allows Ukrainian companies to benefit from free trade.
ANGEL FOR FASHION
All images courtesy of ANGEL FOR FASHION and the featured brands.
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