Ukraine's must-know fashion brands and designers: Ksenia Schnaider, Ochi, TTSWTRS and more
Kiev: The new Paris?
Social media has truly been a boon for designers; these days, you don’t have to schlep yourself to a major fashion capital to make an impression as, say, the Antwerp Six did when they drove their truck down to London Fashion Week in the ‘80s. With platforms like Instagram allowing global connections to be made instantaneously, it’s never been easier to locate talented names operating in far-flung locales.
Ukraine, for example, is ripe with young and hungry designers, who are increasingly attracting notice from international retailers and influencers. Below, we’ve assembled some of the most interesting Ukrainian fashion brands, the cost of whose wares you needn’t factor airfare to Kiev into. Hooray for globalisation!
In marriage as in fashion design, two, we are told, is far superior to one. Creative couple Ksenia and Anton Schnaider only began intensively upcycling fabric for their collections in 2016, but the Schnaiders' now-signature mashups of different denims and cuts have swiftly become a calling card; their viral designs can't seem to decide if they're full-length jeans or shorts, or if they're skinny cut or wide-legged, but fans including Bella Hadid just can't get enough.
The defining product of Anna Osmekhina's fashion line is a '90s staple— the tattoo-printed mesh top (in case you hadn't already guessed, TTSWTRS is a stylisation of 'tattoo sweaters'). Designed in collaboration with actual tattoo artists, Osmekhina's debut collection sold out at the iconic Parisian multilabel Colette within a week; her tatt-y clothes allow their purchasers to experience the same emancipation that Osmekhina’s friend — whose almost zen-like ease in his heavily-inked body inspired TTSWTR’s founding — did.
We're cheating a little here, since Ochi is actually based in Odessa, but given the press frenzy following *deep breath* Kourtney Kardashian repping one of its vegan leather/natural fiber coats, this label was a shoo-in for our list. As a recent addition to Net-a-Porter's catalogue, Ochi is boosting what the retailer claims is its fastest growing category — outerwear. Ochi, or 'eyes' in Ukrainian, was the unlikely name chosen by founder Iana Kuznietsova for her coat-heavy brand. Her reasoning? In colder climes, coats amount to a first impression, just like the moment one locks eyes with a stranger.
As far as brand stories go, Sleeper's is pretty perfect. The vision of founding a luxe pyjama house came to co-founder Kate Zubarieva — in the form of a dream. Zubarieva and her friend Asya Varetsa have since turned that dream into a pretty successful reality; Sleeper's quirky, locally-made sleepwear has found supporters in Moda Operandi and Dakota Fanning, who perhaps hope for some of Zubarieva's business-building dream magic to rub off.
Buro 24/7 Selection