“Angel for Fashion” is an online store that carries the products of 30 Ukrainian designers, all of whom are women. For example, the Foberini label provides breezy gowns influenced by traditional Ukrainian motifs, while Frolov gives cheekily gorgeous appearances. There are also some macabre leather pieces, such Kofta purses and Bob Basset masks and leashes, among other things.
As Alina Bairamova, creative director of Angel for Fashion, described her country’s fashion industry: “It’s one of the most flourishing and energetic atmospheres.”
Jen Sidary, a fashion industry veteran who has worked with companies such as Zappos and Vivienne Westwood, founded Angel for Fashion. Angel for Fashion operates on a dropship model, with a portion of sales going to the company in return for hosting the items on its website. Orders submitted on the website are passed to the designers, who are in charge of fulfilment and shipping, the cost of which is included in the price of the garment purchased on the site.
While there are already more than 800 things on the market to choose from, some products are only available for pre-order, and others come with the warning that shipment may be delayed due to supply chain issues in a war-torn nation.
Ms. Sidary said that some of her designers never stopped drawing, stitching, and creating even when their city and nation were under assault. Others have reconfigured their activities to assist in the war effort, moved inside Ukraine, or are going back and forth between Ukraine and neighbouring countries to aid in the war effort.
With her smoky Southern California accent and chatting over Zoom, Ms. Sidary explained why she had included a warning on the website that shipment may take up to six months. “I like not to over-promise and under-deliver,” she said of possible shipping delays. “I mean, I’m hoping it doesn’t take six months to do everything.”
She went on to say that the site will be accessible from anyone in the world, with the exception of Russia and Belarus, which she referred to as “Bela-Russia.”
A celebratory tequila on the rocks was being consumed by Ms. Sidary. As a kiss-off to Russian President Vladimir Putin, she had her nails painted brilliant yellow and her middle fingers painted blue in what she described as a “kiss-off to Vladimir Putin.” “They’re growing out – I’m going to have to get a fresh manicure at some point,” she said. “However, in order to have things up and running in three weeks, I’ve been working 17-hour days.”
She had the inspiration for the website towards the end of February, when she returned to her home in West Hollywood after displaying six Ukrainian designers during the Ukrainian Fashion Week in New York. In a macabre coincidence, the exhibition debuted on the 24th of February, the day before the Russian invasion began.
Because it was no longer possible to transport items back to Ukraine, Ms. Sidary brought four of the designers’ collections back to her one-bedroom apartment in New York City. Valery Kovalska, a designer who specialises in unusual twists on contemporary fundamentals, was also in New York at the time of the invasion, and she took him in as well.
In order not to abandon her in New York like a helpless baby Ukrainian designer, she added, “I told her, ‘Girl, just come to Los Angeles with me,'” adding that she had no choice. Ms. Kovalska and Ms. Sidary had only met a handful of times before Ms. Kovalska moved into Ms. Sidary’s home, where she stayed for about a month.
On Sunday, Ms. Kovalska was collecting her belongings for a trip to Los Angeles, where she would be staying with friends of friends in the Venice Beach district. “I just moved because I still wanted to be friends with her,” she joked, not wanting to overstay her welcome on the sofa.
Mrs. Kovalska expressed gratitude for her physical well-being while also emphasising her sense of responsibility for Ukraine. Even if I’m sleeping on the sofa, I’m still responsible for paying the wages of my 25 workers. ” She has been delivering deadstock and sample garments to her Ukrainian staff who are in desperate need of clothing.
The actress stated with a chuckle, “At the very least, they’re going to have a really trendy wardrobe today.”
Ms. Kovalska believes in the mission of Angel for Fashion and supports the organisation. “I truly hope it turns out to be a successful company for her and for us as well,” she expressed optimism.
The invasion began while Ms. Bairamova and Ms. Kovalska were in New York on business, and she has now relocated to Roosevelt Island, where she will remain indefinitely with friends. The opening of the site was an emotional experience for her, both because of the hard work she had put into it and because of the possible influence it may have on Ukraine, where her family now resides.