Ukrainian Fashion Week

How Ukrainian Brands Create During the War: BOBKOVA

How Ukrainian Brands Create During the War: BOBKOVA

Behind the Scenes

Getting ready for the upcoming Ukrainian Fashion Week SS25, which will take place in Kyiv from September 1 to 4, the UFW team reached out to the participating brands with a question: “How is your brand coping with the full-scale invasion?”. In this article, designer Khrystyna Bobkova, the founder of BOBKOVA, shares her memories and impressions with the editors.

Three days before the full-scale invasion the BOBKOVA team, along with photographer Stepan Lisowski and stylist Veniamin Brykalin, shot the lookbook for FW2023/24. However, the brand’s life, like all Ukrainians, was soon divided into BEFORE and AFTER. The work was temporarily halted as it became more important to focus on people: helping them evacuate from hotspots, sewing bags for the territorial defense and curtains for humanitarian aid headquarters, and ensuring the basic financial needs of employees were met.

The brand retained 80% of its team, as the main value of BOBKOVA is its employees. We relocated some of our assets and organized a warehouse in Germany, where we placed samples of the new BOBKOVA FW2023/24 collection and some stock from previous collections and resumed order shipments from Europe. The brand has not moved its production to other cities or countries, maintaining operations and supporting the families of our team members, many of whom have loved ones on the front lines.

Another important factor is that we want to work and pay taxes in Ukraine and contribute to the development of our country! The brand is grateful to all clients, buyers, the press, and influencers. We are thankful to the Senate of Fashion in Berlin, the Fashion Council in Germany, and the Ukrainian Fashion Council for their support, which resulted in four shows at Berlin Fashion Week; BOBKOVA was also presented in New York (supported by Donna Karan and Tommy Hilfiger) and in Paris (at the VOGUE.UA presentation supported by Anna Wintour) during Fashion Weeks, as well as in showrooms in Paris and Shanghai.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, we have organized and held more than 20 charity pop-ups in Berlin, Paris, Frankfurt, Geneva, Vienna and other cities and we continue to donate funds to humanitarian foundations and the military while working in Kyiv. Over a year of working in Germany, BOBKOVA had two collaborations with German brands and creators: Anna Scheidemann and Chris Bader. Thanks to strong support we emerged from the financial crisis at the beginning of the invasion and are helping the defense forces.

Since March 2022 the slogan ‘Made in Ukraine’ has been known worldwide, but much depends on the brand, product quality and design; you need to compete with products, not the country of manufacture.

My main inspiration is my Ukraine, its culture and traditions, which I as an artist and craftsman want to preserve. I am grateful to the defense forces that for the first time in several challenging years I will be able to stage a BOBKOVA show in my native Kyiv!