Author: 18.03.2015 | experience, personalities, expert
On the eve of the 36th session of the Ukrainian Fashion Week, THEOUTLOOK.COM.UA goes on publishing Experience articles from which you will learn the secrets of successful careers of contemporary top managers and latest facts about development of their activities. Today meet another professional - the founder of the Ukrainian Fashion Week (UFW) Iryna Danylevska.

The main distinctive feature of Ukrainian designer clothing is its quality

Even some global brands cannot boast of such fine cut and fabric quality. We have our own identity wanted to be seen by the world. Ukrainian fashion is emotional and diverse. It is nice that a lot of our ideas come from the Ukrainian national costume. I am sure that wrap skirt is not invention of Diane von Fürstenberg. Long before her it was discovered by us, the Ukrainians.

Ukrainian designers are first and foremost strong personalities

I am not getting tired of repeating that the Ukrainian trendsetters are very stress-resistant. All designers referred to as "traditional" present their collections in a regular order. Despite all the turmoil in the country, UFW is expanding right in front of your eyes. We gulped a fresh breath of inspiration and are ready to keep amazing both Ukrainian and foreign buyers. This is confirmed by successful sales of Svetlana Bevza, Lilia Litkovskaya and brands Podolyan, Lobanov, Dats, Serebrova, Burba.

More and more new designers in Ukraine

This year's program New Names at UFW will introduce 5 designers, and Fresh Fashion will feature 8 new names. This is a great success. We fixed a nominal amount for participation and are trying in every way to show the world what young Ukrainian designers are capable of. Thus, we put a great deal of trust in support of mass media. This is exceptionally powerful tool that helps promotion of new names.

I would make a "talent incubator" in Ukraine

A couple of years ago there was talk that in the near future Kyiv would be the newest fashion capital. Now fashion-gurus sidestep this point. It is obvious why. No funding. Plus the state should be more interested in development of the domestic fashion industry. For instance, in Italy after the World War II priority of fashion over other areas was declared at the state level, and that move paid off. In Ukraine agribusiness and space technology are now being developed. The country must live with its talents. Brains and ideas can and should be bought and sold.

Attendance by buyers shows a definite success of any fashion week

They are more effective than media anyway. But mass media are more large scale. Up to 10 buyers constantly work with us, and journalists are about 200. Plus UFW is afraid to disappoint the first ones. We cannot lead them by hand and say: you’d better go here, but not there. And suddenly a buyer does not like something and spends a day in vain, he will not be interested in our products any more. Typically, the designer, when confident in his abilities, invites foreign buyer and it is designer’s personal risk, not UFW’s.

UFW is actively cooperating with the fashion weeks in other countries and constantly sets new contacts abroad

Our most effective cooperation is with Milano Moda Donna. Due to the fact that designers are very interested in access to eastern markets, for some years we have been maintaining a good relationship with Kazahstan Fashion Week and some projects in Azerbaijan and the UAE. Special UFW projects took place during London Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week.

Young designers believe that it is necessary to begin with presentations of their own collections. This is a big mistake

It is necessary to start with yourself. The first thing is to figure out uniqueness of your name compared to others. When brand awareness has been worked out well, then let them scrutinize about their business. After all, if world buyer is interested in a collection and makes an order, but you are not be able to fulfil it, it will put an end to your future career.

Do not succumb to stereotypes that our compatriots cannot afford the clothes from the Ukrainian designers

The cost of any product includes inter alia the cost of materials used in its manufacture. There are evening dresses made from high quality silk, coats of 100 per cent cashmere or wool. These tissues are always expensive. But do not forget that the main thing is a desire to buy clothes from Ukrainian designer and it can be done within discounts season at shopping outlets. So, for the coat you pay not UAH12 000 but UAH1 500.

If we talk about fashion in capital, I would call it "to wear all the best things in one go"

I was always jarred by the view of miniskirts pared with high heels, sneakers and jeans at the street, and sometimes even at the theatre. Socks with sandals... I’d better keep quiet about it. World fashion now speaks about the popularity of the military style. Ukrainian designers did not support this trend and create rather optimistic collections. Therefore I advise all fashionistas not to hide bright and sunny clothing in wardrobes. This is trend of the coming season.

Actually, I have never planned to be engaged into fashion

I am a professional journalist! And from alma mater the sphere of my interests was journalism, and then publishing business. I was led into fashion by glossy magazines. Thanks to them I met Ukrainian designers. Fashion for me is, first of all, beauty. With the same success I could cope with the position of editor in music magazine, for instance. But it that’s life. I consider it to be my biggest success that I was one of the first who managed to systematize the Ukrainian fashion back in the 90s thanks to UFW.

Photos by courtesy of the press service of the UFW, also taken from

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