May 26, 2022
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Angel for Fashion is a brand new e-commerce platform that sells the wares of 30 Ukrainian designers. The kinds it presents are eclectic: There are breezy attire impressed by conventional Ukrainian designs from the Foberini label; cheekily glamorous appears from Frolov; and macabre leather-based choices, like Kofta luggage and Bob Basset masks and harnesses.

“It’s one of the vital thriving and important atmospheres,” Alina Bairamova, the artistic director of Angel for Fashion, stated of her nation’s vogue business.

“Assembly the world was inevitable,” she added. “It has simply sped up the method by the conflict.”

Angel for Fashion was the brainchild of Jen Sidary, whose résumé contains stints at Zappos and Vivienne Westwood. The positioning works on a dropship mannequin, with Angel for Fashion taking a proportion of gross sales in change for internet hosting the merchandise on its web site. Orders positioned on the location are forwarded to the designers, who deal with achievement and delivery, the price of which is included within the garment’s value.

At present, there are greater than 800 gadgets accessible, though some merchandise can be found solely for pre-order or include caveats that delivery might be delayed due to provide chain logistics in a rustic at conflict.

A few of her designers, Ms. Sidary stated, by no means stopped sketching, stitching and designing, whilst their metropolis and nation got here beneath assault. Others have repurposed their operations to assist the conflict effort, relocated inside Ukraine or are touring backwards and forwards between Ukraine and neighboring international locations.

“I did throw on the location that it may take as much as six months solely as a result of I choose to not over-promise and under-deliver,” Ms. Sidary stated of potential delivery delays, talking through Zoom in her smoky Southern California accent. “I imply, I hope issues don’t take six months.”

She added proudly that the location could be accessible globally, besides in Russia and Belarus, which she known as “Bela-Russia.”

Ms. Sidary was having fun with a celebratory tequila on the rocks. Her nails had been painted fluorescent yellow, the center fingers painted blue in what she stated was a kiss-off to Vladimir Putin, the Russian president. “They’re rising out — in some unspecified time in the future I’ve acquired to get a brand new manicure,” she stated. “However to get this dwell in three weeks, I’ve actually been working 17-hour days.”

The concept for the web site got here to Ms. Sidary on the finish of February, when she returned to West Hollywood after showcasing six Ukrainian designers in New York. In a macabre coincidence, that showcase opened simply at some point earlier than the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.

Since delivery clothes again to Ukraine was not an choice, Ms. Sidary took 4 of the designers’ collections again to her one-bedroom condo. She additionally took in Valery Kovalska, a designer specializing in sudden tweaks to fashionable fundamentals, who additionally occurred to be in New York in the course of the invasion.

Russia-Ukraine Struggle: Key Developments

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“I couldn’t simply depart her in New York like a tragic child Ukrainian designer, so I used to be, like, ‘Lady, simply come to Los Angeles with me,’” she stated. The 2 ladies had met only some instances when Ms. Kovalska moved to Ms. Sidary’s sofa, the place she lived for practically a month.

On Sunday, Ms. Kovalska was packing her suitcase to stick with pals of pals within the Venice Seaside neighborhood of Los Angeles. “I simply moved as a result of I nonetheless wished to be pals along with her,” she joked, not desirous to overstay her welcome on the sofa.

“Fortunately, I’m bodily protected right here,” Ms. Kovalska stated, whereas additionally noting the obligation she felt to Ukraine. “So now my mission is to work exhausting to convey cash to the nation. I’ve acquired 25 workers, and I’m nonetheless paying their salaries whereas I’m sleeping on the sofa.” She has been sending deadstock and samples to her workers in Ukraine who’re in want of garments.

“At the very least they’re going to have a extremely trendy wardrobe now,” she stated with amusing.

Ms. Kovalska believes within the imaginative and prescient of Angel for Fashion. “I actually hope it’s going to be a giant enterprise for her and for us, too,” she stated. “It’s not only a charity occasion. It helps our business.”

Ms. Bairamova, like Ms. Kovalska, was in New York on enterprise when the invasion began and now could be staying with pals on Roosevelt Island indefinitely. For her, the inauguration of the location was emotional, each when it comes to the work she had put into it and the potential impression for Ukraine, the place her household stays.

“It turns an unlucky occasion into one thing that may be so fulfilling and so promising for the long run,” she stated.

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