FASHION UNITES: 1 Granary, a global support network that connects, promotes and educates fashion graduates from universities around the world that was founded by Ukrainian Central Saint Martins graduate Olya Kuryshchuk, has released an open letter calling “fashion businesses and their leaders” to condemn Russia’s invasion and stand in solidarity with Ukraine.
The letter demands “governments to continue enforcing strong sanctions and to contribute aid” in order to assure Ukraine’s “freedom, democracy and sovereignty.”
1 Granary’s letter reaches out to the fashion community — and particularly, the fashion houses of great influence — asking them “to not be silent, use their platforms and offer hands-on help.”
Some 1,350 people have signed the open letter so far, including fashion designers Christopher Kane, Kiko Kostadinov, Lutz Huelle, Richard Malone, Phoebe English, Duran Lantink and John Alexander Skelton.
Charlotte Knowles, who signed the letter alongside her partner Alexandre Arsenault, shared an Instagram post declaring the brand’s support for Ukraine along with the link to 1 Granary’s open letter.
Industry heavyweights such as Caroline Rush, Angela Missoni, Sarah Mower, Susie Lau, Fabio Piras, Alister Mackie, Ellie Grace Cumming, Hugo Comte and Nick Knight have also declared their support for Ukraine by joining the petition.
Kuryshchuk said on Instagram, “Public pressure can save Ukraine. Demand from your governments to shut the flight zones, apply harder sanctions and cut Russia from SWIFT to stop a humanitarian disaster in Europe.
“The idea, that bombs are falling on a European city in the 21st century is unbelievable. I am scared. I am viciously angry. But I am proud of my people and their fightback. A conflict that everyone thought would last hours, has already lasted for days. We must help support Ukraine. We must take action now,” she added.
1 Granary has also been using its Instagram to highlight the lived experiences of Ukrainian fashion talents, including fashion designer Masha Popova, who has dressed the likes of Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner and Billie Eilish, as well as previous Yeezy color design director Khrystyna Fomenko.
The two Ukrainians shared with the world how the invasion is impacting their and their loved ones’ lives, expressing their current feelings and fears.
Olga Kuzmenkova, who previously worked at independent Russian media outlets, shared her outlook as a Russian under 1 Granary’s Instagram post, emphasizing how “the voices of Russians against invasion in Ukraine may sound muffled, but there are millions of Russians who want this war to stop”.
1 Granary has been posting useful information on Instagram that brands can reference to support Ukraine, as well as tips on how African students can flee to Poland from Ukraine.