Vogue Ukraine is taking its first steps into the metaverse as it puts support for the Ukrainian fashion industry at the heart of its revised mission, as war continues to blight the country. Vogue has partnered with the NFT marketplace The Dematerialised (DMAT) to highlight the work of three designers: Bevza, Gudu and Ienki Ienki. All three brands will showcase their designs in Paris on 28 September during fashion week, before those physical garments are translated into NFTs, which will be able to buy via DMAT.
“Vogue UA is not limited to geography—we are now wherever Ukrainians are,” says editor-in-chief Philipp Vlasov of the motivation behind the project. “This drop in collaboration with DMAT is our first endeavour in the metaverse, where we intend to establish a strong presence.” Further launches of clothes and accessories by emerging and established Ukrainian designers will follow. “Helping the Ukrainian fashion industry survive and endure during these troubled times is a part of Vogue UA’s revised mission.”
The goal of the project is to help the designers find new and innovative ways to sell their products and to generate revenue in extraordinarily difficult times. In the past, DMAT has partnered with the likes of Karl Lagerfeld (the DMAT X Karl Lagerfeld collection sold out in seconds in December), and Nicholas Kirkwood in its efforts to bring fashion and web3 audiences together under one roof. Designs released by the marketplace range from digital figurines to phygital made-to-measure couture dresses.
In line with the unveiling of the Vogue Ukraine partnership, DMAT is drawing back the curtain on its new discovery space, where visitors can experience the designs in a gamified environment. “It has been such a memorable project to work with such talented designers like Ienki Ienki, Gudu and Bevza,” says Marjorie Hernandez, DMAT’s co-founder and co-CEO. Her co-founder Karinna Grant said: “We are honoured to enable social and economic capital for these Ukrainian designers through this important project.”
Shoppers who purchase the NFTs are invited to share how they style the virtual pieces on social media, tagging @vogue_ukraine, which Vogue UA will use to curate a gallery of people wearing the looks.
The Vogue Ukraine team was scattered when Russia invaded the country in February 2022. “We’re focused on our digital presence, producing helpful and inspiring content to give strength to Ukrainians while offering some insight to the world on the country someone dared to say had no right to exist,” Vlasov wrote in an open letter in March, while continuing to manage his team from exile. “We won’t lose hope. Justice must prevail.”
The NFTs will be available to purchase from 1am SGT on 5 October, exclusively on The Dematerialised, with proceeds going back to the designers.