Fashion Week Shifts Focus to Ukraine 

The industry’s reaction to the war in Ukraine 

By: Isabella Cruz-Hill 

Position: Staff Writer 

The fashion industry showed its support of Ukraine through the designs displayed at this year’s Paris Fashion Week.  

The war in Ukraine has garnered global attention, and Ukraine has gained worldwide support, including support from the fashion industry.  

“The war in Ukraine is heartbreaking,” said Fernando Zaldivar, senior. “I cannot believe that such an atrocity is occurring, but I am glad to see attention brought to the topic.” 

The fashion industry often raises awareness on pressing topics like the war between Russia and Ukraine, in it does so in various, non-traditional ways. For example, during Paris Fashion Week, many brands chose to either wear Ukraine’s colors or vocalize their support.  

“I don’t think people realize how influential the fashion industry truly is,” said Laura Garrido, senior. “The industry has so much publicity and can draw attention to important topics.” 

According to CNN, the president of Paris Fashion Week, Ralph Toledano, issued a statement urging all fashion week attendees to “experience the shows of the coming days with solemnity, and in reflection of these dark hours.” In publicizing this statement, Toledano set the tone for this year’s event. 

Major directors of luxury houses like Balenciaga went as far as almost canceling the show. Ultimately, most designers decided to continue and use fashion week as an advantage to draw attention to the war.  

During fashion week, Ukraine’s flag was draped on seats along runways, and the director of Balenciaga recited a poem dedicated to Ukraine. The attendees of fashion week also showed their support in by wearing Ukraine’s national colors or holding their flag. 

“I understand why some brands would want to cancel their shows,” said Daniela Aparicio, senior. “But I think it was important for the show to go on. Fashion week is a major event with an audience of millions, and I think that they brought the focus back to Ukraine flawlessly.” 

According to The Economic Times, France’s fashion federation canceled Russian designer Valentin Yudashkin’s show, which was supposed to conclude fashion week. Yudashkin had helped design the latest Russian army uniforms, and the directors of Paris Fashion Week wanted to show no support towards him or Russia. 

The fashion industry was able to turn Paris Fashion Week into an event filled with support and solidarity for Ukraine. 

Attendees of Paris Fashion Week holding Ukraine’s flag. Photo/Vogue. 
Louis Vuitton model wearing Ukraine’s national colors. Photo/CNN. 
Balenciaga rallying for peace during fashion week. Photo/VogueBusiness. 

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