Ukrainian Fashion Week

How Ukrainian Brands Create During the War: Helena ROMANOVA

How Ukrainian Brands Create During the War: Helena ROMANOVA

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 the new material, the designer of the accessories brand HELENA ROMANOVA tells her story about creativity and business during the war.

On the eve of February 24, 2022, the brand was preparing a new collection, the presentation of which was scheduled for spring. A full-scale invasion found the team in Kyiv, and despite the understanding that a Russian attack was quite likely, the events caused shock, moral devastation, complete incomprehensibility and a sense of the unpredictability of the future.

My husband and I, staying in our hometown with our parents, immediately started helping the defenders. The design studio HELENA ROMANOVA, located in the Podil district, served as a hub for collecting medicines, food, and other supplies to be distributed to where they were needed. With time, logistical routes from Europe and the USA were restored, and opportunities emerged to fulfill specific and technological requests.

If in the first weeks and months after February 24, 2022 there was no discussion of design activities, then from the beginning of May, unexpectedly for myself, I returned to work on individual orders. At the same time, interest in the brand increased among foreign customers, and thanks to the clear and selfless work of the state postal service, the circumstances of the war only slightly affected the terms of delivery of materials and finished products. In 2022, there was also a collaboration with the New York wedding brand Justin Alexander as part of the presentation of a new clothing collection.

2023 was a milestone year: Olena Romanova fully returned to fashion design and work on the total look for show business representatives.

The HELENA ROMANOVA brand also continued the tradition of creating accessories for representatives of Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest, which began in 2021 with the collaboration with the Go_A band. In 2023, Olena Romanova designed an image for their soloist – Kateryna Pavlenko, and this year — a mail dress for Alyona Alyona’s performance.

In the summer of 2023, the brand presented a collection conceived even before the Great War, rethinking ideas under the influence of a new reality, acquired experience and a changed worldview.

In 2024, we have welcomed many innovative ideas, some of which we are now incorporating into our new collections. Despite the challenges of working in a creative industry during wartime, our team at HELENA ROMANOVA managed to overcome all obstacles. We are now ready to take on new challenges.

Despite the complexity of creative work during the war, moral trials, the HELENA ROMANOVA team successfully overcomes them and is ready for new challenges.