Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the fashion industry has found various ways to show support for Ukraine. Through both financial aid and the utilisation of their platforms the community has joined forces to help the cause.
Donations to Ukraine
Firstly, one of the first ports of call for rises is usually in the form of a huge donation. Brands such as Chanel, Ganni, Gucci and Valentino, have made donations to various charities in order to help Ukraine. For example:
- Chanel donated €2 million to relief funds;
- Ganni donated 100,000 DKK to the Danish Refugee Council;
- Acne Studios donated €100,000 to UNICEF and the UNHCR;
- Gucci utilised its pre-existing campaign Chime for Change to donate $500,000 to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR); and
- Valentino similarly donated €500,00 to the UNHCR.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is a charity organisation mainly involved in helping displaced refugees. They aid refugees with blankets and shelters for sleeping arrangements, and cash to allow displaced people to buy necessities. The UNHCR has compiled data that revealed that over 1.2 million refugees are estimated to have fled Ukraine following the invasion. With these rates, the UNHCR has estimated that this will become Europe’s largest refugee crisis of the century. Louis Vuitton alternatively donated €1 million to UNICEF, which is also working to provide aid for families and children in Ukraine.
Boycotts of Russia
An alternative approach that has been applied by brands is the boycotting of Russia. Top brands such as:
- Acne Studios;
- ASOS; and
- Hermés have taken this approach.
Acne Studios has completely halted all of its deliveries to Russia. H&M has closed all of its 170 stores in Russia as well as its stores in Ukraine. Furthermore, H&M has paused all their sales in Russia, with Hermès taking a similar approach by closing all of its stores in Russia. Hermés will also not be partaking in any sales in the country. ASOS also stopped all sales in Russia and Ukraine currently.
As Fashion Month has been taking place across Europe in the past couple of weeks, the invasion of Ukraine was not ignored. Show-goers and street fashion stars alike have taken it in their stride to advocate against the invasion. Attendees took Ukrainian flags and signs to runway shows knowing that the outfits and protesting will be photographed.
One show of note was the Prada show in Milan. Amongst the fanfare surrounding Kim Kardashian’s attendance, stood two women with a Ukrainian flag. Similarly, the Max Mara show was attended by Ukrainian style blogger Poly Kyrychenko who attended the show with a sign stating; ‘No War In Ukraine’, Kyrychenko was the only attendee with a sign.
Balenciaga has been the first fashion house to state that it will be using its catwalk as a platform to show solidarity with Ukraine. The show was scheduled for Sunday 6th March 2022, stating that it would be using its platform to inform people about the situation in Ukraine.
If you are looking for ways to help with the crisis please find some useful links below:
Amelia Gregory is Junior Fashion Lead for SSEDITORIAL. She writes on everything from sustainability to runway. She is our lead contributor for red carpet reviews, so keep an eye out for her latest 'Best Dressed' list. Find her on Instagram: @milly_gregory