When it comes to Ukrainian fashion on an international scale, one might not instantly think of Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days, but definitely should.
Founded by Daria Shapovalova 6 years ago, it has recently lifted off with its 12th season in Ukraine’s capital, this year’s motto being #fashionablydigital. Young, yet highly prolific, this fashion week has given the country’s fashion industry a palpable rebooting, becoming the cradle for many designers who are now taking over the fashion world. Take, for example, Anton Belinskiy or Anna K, who are currently soaring to the heights of fame at New York Fashion Week, showcasing their collections next to such illustrious names as Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera or Marc Jacobs.
Back to MBKFD, the event is a versatile fair of fashion, traditionally taking place twice a year and serving several key purposes. It boosts designers who are just at the threshold of entering the industry, with Fashion Scout platform assisting them in making their first steps, which also functions in London and Paris – pay closer attention to SLAVA and Chakshyn, who are, though extremely young, advancing à grands pas and evidently not planning to stop. It is a place for augmenting one’s potential if you are a more mature designer, aspiring and industrious – trace the careers of such brands as Ksenia Schnaider, Anna October or Omelya to verify that those are developing by leaps and bounds. And it is also a high-profile educational centre, with Kiev Fashion Industry Forum at its core, where one is granted an opportunity to grasp the elusiveness of fashion by taking a look at it from the business point of view in four main sections – Creative, Production, Digital and Retail, building an open dialogue during panel discussions with the renowned professionals of the industry, both local and international. Finally, it is an exciting means to coalesce with designers, photographers, journalists, buyers, models, stylists, bloggers, street style stars and The Team– all those who are as engulfed by fashion in all its manifestations as you are.
It has been a productive season, a true feast of fashion not to be missed. And while we are still unhurriedly revisiting its brightest moments, the work on the next 13th season is humming, for us to be even more smitten when September comes.
Story by Daria Sipigina, EMPR
Photographs by Vadim Uvazhny