Angel for Trend is a brand new e-commerce platform that sells the wares of 30 Ukrainian designers. The kinds it gives are eclectic: There are breezy attire impressed by conventional Ukrainian designs from the Foberini label; cheekily glamorous seems from Frolov; and macabre leather-based choices, like Kofta luggage and Bob Basset masks and harnesses.
“It’s one of the crucial thriving and very important atmospheres,” Alina Bairamova, the artistic director of Angel for Trend, stated of her nation’s vogue business.
“Assembly the world was inevitable,” she added. “It has simply sped up the method by the struggle.”
Angel for Trend was the brainchild of Jen Sidary, whose résumé consists of stints at Zappos and Vivienne Westwood. The positioning works on a dropship mannequin, with Angel for Trend taking a share of gross sales in change for internet hosting the merchandise on its website. Orders positioned on the positioning are forwarded to the designers, who deal with success and transport, the price of which is included within the garment’s value.
At present, there are greater than 800 gadgets obtainable, though some merchandise can be found just for pre-order or include caveats that transport could possibly be delayed due to provide chain logistics in a rustic at struggle.
A few of her designers, Ms. Sidary stated, by no means stopped sketching, stitching and designing, whilst their metropolis and nation got here beneath assault. Others have repurposed their operations to assist the struggle effort, relocated inside Ukraine or are touring forwards and backwards between Ukraine and neighboring nations.
“I did throw on the positioning that it might take as much as six months solely as a result of I favor to not over-promise and under-deliver,” Ms. Sidary stated of potential transport delays, talking through Zoom in her smoky Southern California accent. “I imply, I hope issues don’t take six months.”
She added proudly that the positioning can be obtainable globally, besides in Russia and Belarus, which she known as “Bela-Russia.”
Ms. Sidary was having fun with a celebratory tequila on the rocks. Her nails have been painted fluorescent yellow, the center fingers painted blue in what she stated was a kiss-off to Vladimir Putin, the Russian president. “They’re rising out — sooner or later I’ve obtained to get a brand new manicure,” she stated. “However to get this reside in three weeks, I’ve actually been working 17-hour days.”
The concept for the web site got here to Ms. Sidary on the finish of February, when she returned to West Hollywood after showcasing six Ukrainian designers in New York. In a macabre coincidence, that showcase opened simply in the future earlier than the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.
Since transport clothes again to Ukraine was not an choice, Ms. Sidary took 4 of the designers’ collections again to her one-bedroom condominium. She additionally took in Valery Kovalska, a designer specializing in surprising tweaks to fashionable fundamentals, who additionally occurred to be in New York through the invasion.
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“I couldn’t simply depart her in New York like a tragic child Ukrainian designer, so I used to be, like, ‘Lady, simply come to Los Angeles with me,’” she stated. The 2 ladies had met just a few instances when Ms. Kovalska moved to Ms. Sidary’s sofa, the place she lived for almost a month.
On Sunday, Ms. Kovalska was packing her suitcase to stick with buddies of buddies within the Venice Seashore neighborhood of Los Angeles. “I simply moved as a result of I nonetheless wished to be buddies together with her,” she joked, not eager to overstay her welcome on the sofa.
“Fortunately, I’m bodily secure right here,” Ms. Kovalska stated, whereas additionally noting the responsibility she felt to Ukraine. “So now my mission is to work onerous to convey cash to the nation. I’ve obtained 25 staff, and I’m nonetheless paying their salaries whereas I’m sleeping on the sofa.” She has been sending deadstock and samples to her staff in Ukraine who’re in want of garments.
“No less than they’re going to have a extremely trendy wardrobe now,” she stated with fun.
Ms. Kovalska believes within the imaginative and prescient of Angel for Trend. “I actually hope it’s going to be a giant enterprise for her and for us, too,” she stated. “It’s not only a charity occasion. It helps our business.”
Ms. Bairamova, like Ms. Kovalska, was in New York on enterprise when the invasion began and now’s staying with buddies on Roosevelt Island indefinitely. For her, the inauguration of the positioning was emotional, each when it comes to the work she had put into it and the potential impression for Ukraine, the place her household stays.
“It turns an unlucky occasion into one thing that may be so fulfilling and so promising for the longer term,” she stated.