Ukrainian designers are currently among the hottest trends in the fashion world, with Ukrainian collections starring at Paris Fashion Week, being worn by European royalty, and adorning the pages of Vogue magazine. There has also been a marked upswing in domestic demand for Ukrainian designer labels thanks to heightened awareness of local brands and a broader post-Maidan enthusiasm for all kinds of ‘Made in Ukraine’ produce.
The first major retail initiative promoting Ukrainian designers was the NAMES’UA department store within Arricano’s Prospekt Mall on Kyiv’s Left Bank. Opened in autumn 2015, NAMES’UA is managed by Karkat Fashion, a Ukrainian subsidiary 100% owned by Estonia’s Karkat Fashion International. The department store stocks collections by more than 60 different Ukrainian designers and has proved a big hit with consumers, attracting over 150,000 visitors in its first year.
LEFT BANK ATTRACTION
“This is a one-stop-shop for anyone who wants to buy Ukrainian brands, to be different, and to get high-quality clothes while also saving money,” says Arricano CEO Mykhailo Merkulov. “Before NAMES’UA opened, people who wanted Ukrainian designer label clothing generally had to go to the individual showrooms of each designer. Now everything is available at a single destination. It has proved so popular that people are travelling across the river from Right Bank Kyiv to visit. Our customer surveys have found that around 7% of total Prospekt Mall customers are now from the more developed Right Bank districts of the city, where most of Kyiv’s retail options have traditionally been located. This is quite literally a fantastic development in every sense, and far beyond our initial expectations.”