LONDON — The British Fashion Council is taking a stance amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, encouraging all those in their network to show support for the global campaign condemning the war.
Referencing the British government’s position and its imposed sanctions on Russia, the not-for-profit organization said in a statement released Thursday: “We encourage all those in our network to show their support, however they can, for the global campaign condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This campaign is aimed at the Russian government, not the teams of our designer members and patrons in Russia, or indeed Russian colleagues and friends here, who may be fearful of facing discrimination for actions over which they have no influence at all.”
“We now must address the role of business and the stance we can take. The fashion industry in Ukraine is particularly front of mind, as are Ukrainian members here and their extended families. As an organization that offers support to emerging talent from many backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities, we offer the resources we have to Ukrainian designers, retailers, and media,” the BFC added.
In the statement, the London Fashion Week organizer included a link to a site that aggregates information to help Ukraine as a foreigner.
Meanwhile, the London-based 1 Granary, founded by Ukrainian Central Saint Martins graduate Olya Kuryshchuk, which released an open letter Tuesday calling “fashion businesses and their leaders” to condemn Russia’s invasion and stand in solidarity with Ukraine, is taking its online protest further.
The global support network that connects fashion graduates from universities around the world is now calling all young fashion designers to join the petition ahead of the opening of the LVMH Prize for Young Designers showroom in Paris on March 4 and 5.
“As the industry gathers to celebrate young talent at the LVMH Prize in Paris, remember that creativity can only thrive when there is peace. Right now, some of the previous nominees are sheltering from bomb attacks and fearing for their lives. Luxury fashion brands have power and influence — we demand that they use it to stand up against the senseless violence of this invasion,” Kuryshchuk said under an Instagram post.
Previous LVMH Prize nominees such as Kevin Germanier, Alled Martinez, Neil Grotzinger, Chopova Lowena, Conner Ives, Stefan Cooke, Dilara Findikoglu, Yuhan Wang, Matthew Adam Dolan, Christopher Shannon, Bethany Williams, Eftychia Karamolegkou and Duran Lantink have responded to 1 Granary’s petition.
Kuryshchuk also offered updates on three of the previous LVMH Prize Ukrainian nominees.
“Anton Belinskiy was sheltering all these days next to Kyiv with his family. They can’t evacuate. Yesterday he joined as a volunteer for the city guards to fight the Russian army. Anna October crossed the border yesterday, after hiding in a forest for a few days. Her father was too ill to evacuate and the town where he is was heavily bombed. They lost touch for now. Julie Paskal is sheltering in a basement with two little kids. Still didn’t manage to evacuate,” she told WWD.
Following the online movement, LVMH Prize Thursday evening announced that the three of them will have access to “essential financial and operational assistance” from the luxury group.