Ukrainian Fashion Week

How Ukrainian Brands Create During the War: J’amemme

How Ukrainian Brands Create During the War: J’amemme

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 Yulia Yarmolyuk, the founder of J’amemme, shares her memories and impressions with the editors.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the word “survival” has become particularly relevant. We have been facing shellings, power outages, heat supply interruptions, and financial problems caused by a flood at the factory, which resulted in the loss of most of the fabrics and equipment. This made it seem unlikely that J’amemme would be able to resume operations in the near future. However, overcoming hardships has become the new normal for all of us.

In February 2022, on the eve of the invasion, we successfully held a show in New York and planned to take a short break before diving into preparations for the next season.

On February 24th, 2022, everything changed. The first few months were the most difficult. Morale to create new collections was at its lowest, and a quarter of the team had left Ukraine. However, gradually we found new employees.

Brand J’amemme lost its main contractor, the manufacturer of pleats located in Kharkiv, which has been in the zone of intense shelling since the beginning of the war.

Thankfully, on February 23rd (the day before the full-scale invasion), we received a large shipment of pleated fabric, which allowed us to continue production for another six months. Regrettably, reproducing many of the brand’s bestsellers is no longer possible, but we have found new contractors and adapted quickly.

J’amemme’s customers are accustomed to fast shipments, but due to the war, logistics have become much more difficult. As a result, the team faced the new challenge of informing customers that orders would not arrive as quickly as usual. Currently, the delivery time has returned to normal, and the brand’s new customers include world-famous influencers such as Coco Rocha, Leonie Hanne, Gris Ghanem, and Nina Sunbeck.

I am proud of what we have achieved in two years.

This is not only the release of new collections but also participation in an important social initiative — raising 500,000 UAH to purchase ammunition for women, in partnership with the charity foundation of the Veteranka movement.

The international seasons of Ukrainian Fashion Week provided J’amemme with a platform to showcase the brand globally during challenging times This support enabled us to take part in London Fashion Week and Copenhagen Fashion Week, and we are grateful to the Ukrainian Fashion Council and the USAID Program “Competitive Economy of Ukraine” for the opportunity to represent our country on the world stage and demonstrate our resilience, talent, capability, and determination to achieve our goals.

Yes, our workload has increased significantly, our capacities have grown twentyfold, and we have gained global recognition. We have not only restored pre-war sales volumes but also exceeded them to some extent.

We stayed true to the brand’s DNA and mission: empowering women to feel exceptional.