The event was organized by proactive Ukrainian refugee women who found refuge in Switzerland due to the ongoing war, as well as the Ukrainian diaspora, supported by the Ukrainian Society in Switzerland and the Ukrainian Society of Central and Eastern Switzerland, along with private initiatives. Ukrainian Fashion Day was hosted by a popular Swiss journalist and TV presenter Reto Brenwald, along with famous Ukrainian TV presenter and founder of the "ivAlive" charitable foundation, Ivanna Onofriychuk.
"Our aim was to offer the Swiss public a diverse and engaging show, featuring three distinct elements," explained Anastasia Yushchenko, the organizer of Ukrainian Fashion Day. "The first vector showcased our historical past with a vibrant parade of authentic Ukrainian costumes. The second highlighted the present with contemporary collections from modern Ukrainian designers. Finally, the third vector presented our future with a charming children's clothing collection." The enchanting display of authentic national costumes at the beginning of the show captivated the Swiss audience, as Ukrainian girls proudly showcased their heritage to the world with traditional songs. The Swiss audience, who hold great respect for history and have a love for handmade things, were particularly moved by the authenticity of the costumes. As a result, they immediately started recording the Ukrainian clothing on their cameras, as it made a lasting impression on their hearts.
As part of the Ukrainian Fashion Day show, Natalia Sturgill (USA) presented her unique private collection of ancient national costumes, featuring clothes and jewelry from 15 regions of Ukraine, including Kyiv, Odesa, Poltava, Donetsk, Khmelnytsky, Vinnytsia, Polissia, Hutsul, Bukovyna, Volyn, Lviv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, and Transcarpathia. The event was accompanied by the live singing of the Ukrainian-Swiss choir "Perespiv", creating an incredible atmosphere for the show.
The second part of the event featured a pret-a-porter show by modern Ukrainian brands showcasing the mastery of contemporary Ukrainian designers and high-quality production. The featured brands included YS by Yanis Stepanenko, SELERA, DEVOHOME, L.SOKOL, LXBREND, among others. The highlight of the show was the eco-production collections of Ukrainian manufacturers, which boasted patented technologies for creating fabrics for clothing. Headlining the show was the renowned Ukrainian designer, Oksana Karavanska, who presented a collection created in collaboration with Ksenia Umanska, called KARAVANSKA UMANSKA.
Ukrainian Fashion Day co-organizer Viktoriya Viktorova highlighted that the extraordinary aspect of their event was the participation of regular Ukrainian women who sought refuge in the Swiss Confederation during the war as models. Many of them had no prior experience in the fashion industry and walked the catwalk for the first time during the show. The fashion show included both young girls and models over 40. A highlight of their event was the presence of the popular over-age Swiss model, Ms. Rita Portman.
Two Ukrainian designer brands, Enille and Elsa Fairy Dresses, presented the children's collection, which included a range of linen clothing and a collection of children's dresses for the First Catholic Communion. Ukrainian children who had taken refuge in Switzerland during the war took part in the show, including a child with special needs, highlighting Ukraine's open and tolerant society.
The highlight of the Ukrainian Fashion Day was a charity auction that showcased symbolic lots, such as a mug with the autograph of the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, a Ukrainian flag signed by the Commander-in-Chief, General Valery Zaluzhny, jewelry from the Kochut jewelry brand created especially for the event, a painting by Ukrainian refugee Olena Rogova, clothes from modern Ukrainian designers, and a voucher for accommodation at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Kyiv with open dates.
At the charity auction, Destinations.ua presented an interesting item - a painting called "Ghost of Kyiv" by Kyiv muralist Andriy Kovtun. This artwork is the basis of the famous mural in Kyiv, and a reduced version of the painting will now reside in Switzerland. The funds raised from the sale of "Ghost of Kyiv" will be donated to humanitarian projects of the Rotary Club of Kyiv Capital.
The auction also featured an exclusive glass vase created by the renowned Swiss artisan, Thomas Blank. The proceeds from this lot will be donated to Ivanna Onufriychuk's "ivAlive" charity fund, which supports the "ivAlive Books" educational project. This initiative aims to purchase Ukrainian books for children in Switzerland.
The most valuable item sold was a mug with the autograph of First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, which was purchased for 5,700 francs. The organizers of Ukrainian Fashion Day will transfer the funds to a family from Gostomel who lost their home due to the war. The remaining proceeds from the auction will also go towards helping Ukrainians affected by the conflict.
The organizers of Ukrainian Fashion Day are committed to promoting Ukrainian culture and art to the world and plan to hold similar events in other European countries in the future. They see this auction as just the beginning.