by Vittoria Zerbini

Earlier this summer, in the Great Hall of London Metropolitan University, Fabric of Freedom shone a spotlight on five talented Ukrainian refugee fashion designers. Led by LCCI with LondonMetropolitan University in collaboration with UA in UK Community, Creative Headshots London, and fashion professionals Nataliia Bartkiv and Olenka Martynyuk, the event gathered movers and shakers from the fashion world to champion Galushko, Mandyradzhy, Selera, AG Studio, and Tetyana Palchinska.

Lack of networks
Fabric of Freedom connects selected fashion designers with potential investors, buyers, journalists, and fashion enthusiasts. LCCI, having worked with Ukrainian businesses in the UK and Ukraine since the 2022 invasion of the country, knows the difficulties that entrepreneurs face when they need to relocate to a foreign country e.g. language barriers, differences in how the bureaucracy and laws work, a lack of networks and of community. Add the fact that the fashion industry is one of the hardest to break into, hence the need to create Fabric of Freedom.

The five designers were chosen by Martynyuk and Bartkiv to showcase distinct, modern styles based on Ukrainian roots. The show itself, attended by notable figures such as Helen Fielding, the author of Bridget Jones’s Diary, achieved its goal of providing a bridge for new connections between designers and attendees, and fostering relationships to shape the future of fashion.