MILAN — In light of the humanitarian, social and economic crisis affecting Ukraine following the Russian invasion, Pitti Uomo is showing its support for the country by inviting 12 Ukrainian designers to exhibit their collections at the show, which runs until Friday .
The special project, titled “Ukrainian Fashion Now!”, aims to highlight the energy of fashion in the country and the resilience of local brands that have persevered despite the difficulties. It was organized with the special contribution of the local non-profit organization Fondazione CR Firenze.
“For us, Ukraine is not so much what it is perceived today, given the difficult situation we are all experiencing, but a country with which we have a lasting and consolidated relationship,” said Raffaello. Napoleone, managing director of Pitti Immagine. “We had Ukraine as a guest nation at Pitti Uomo 85 in 2014.
“In this period we thought it was essential to give a sign of help and support to those who suffer from this situation but must continue to create, be seen and be in the market, so there was no no better chance than this to show that strong bond,” he added.
The collections, mainly of women’s clothing, will be exhibited in a dedicated space inside the Arsenale area of the Fortezza da Basso on the first floor. Each Ukrainian designer played by their own rulebook, but all seemed determined to telegraph their country’s cultural heritage.
For example, through its colorful clothes, the Gunia Project brand, founded by the duo Natalia Kamenska and Maria Gavryluk, exalts traditional Ukrainian craftsmanship.
Gender fluidity is at the heart of Kristina Bobkova’s brand identity, as the designer breaks down stereotypes and offers items that offer women confidence and femininity. Traditional menswear tailoring tropes are reinterpreted by Katerina Kvit, who offers tailored clothing styles made from earth-toned materials, while Viktoranisimov’s aesthetic combines military and professional attire, produced with sustainable textiles.
Ukrainian designers also add a sensual touch, as evidenced by Gudu’s collection, which emphasizes femininity with a modern twist, and Lilia Litkovskaya’s bold silhouettes, refined fit and contemporary style.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, minimalism is explored by Yulia Yefimtchuk, also seen in the collection of Manufacture de Lin, a Kyiv-based brand that eschews seasonal trends to produce timeless fashion.
The exhibition will have ample space for colorful prints and patterns, as in Poustovit’s offer. Designer Liliia Poustovit has teamed up with graphic designers to bring a contemporary twist to dreamy dresses.
Clothing will not be the only focus of the show “Ukrainian Fashion Now!” region, however. As part of the project, Pitti Uomo has invited jewelry brand Guzema, founded by Valeriya Guzema, to show off its fine gold jewelry adorned with diamonds, as well as Oberig, which creates colorful gemstone-based pieces inspired by ancient Ukrainian ornaments.
Pitti Uomo will also mount a special photography exhibition by Ukrainian duo Synchrodogs, whose work focuses on the relationship between man and nature.