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Ukrainian Denim Brand Kseniaschnaider Calls for Financial Support

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Kyiv-based denim label Kseniaschnaider is calling for financial support as the company’s employees seek safety in bomb shelters or flee to other countries.

On Sunday, the brand took to Instagram to say its business has been “brutally halted” due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Our entire 30-person team has been forced to prioritize their safety and take care of their families during the war,” the brand wrote. “Our business has been brutally halted. We cannot afford to wait for wholesale payments, and therefore we ask you to purchase a certificate that will help provide our team with food and medical supplies during the war.”

The caption went on to say that the financial support will be converted into gift certificates when it is safe to resume work. The “support cards” are available to purchase on the brand’s website in $5, $50 and $500 amounts. Links to the Ukrainian Red Cross and Come Back Alive, a foundation that supports the Ukrainian Armed Forces, are also accessible on the site.

Kseniaschnaider’s production is based entirely in Kyiv, where the brand reworks up to 7 tons of vintage and used clothes per year. “Now everything stopped,” Ksenia Schnaider, CEO and creative director, told Rivet in an email.

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“Our warehouse is—or should I say ‘was’—in Kyiv,” she added. “For now, we cannot ship orders, but I am forever grateful to our customers who are placing orders just to support us. They all agreed to wait for the [delivery] after [the] war.”

Schnaider left Kyiv a few days ago. “I still cannot breathe or eat normally. I am deeply depressed and trying to help people near the border as I know they are feeling worse than me, as they had to spend more days in hell [than] me,” she said.

Most of her team, however, remains in the capital or nearby. She is in contact with them every day. “I am trying to support them as most of my workers are females [and] mothers with kids,” Schnaider said.

She added that she’s “open to any ideas and proposals” that might help the industry and urged people to reach out to her through social media.

Schnaider was named a Rivet 50 honoree last October. Just one year ago, the company was encouraging consumers to support local and sustainable productions and creating brand awareness through collaborations and its first flagship in its hometown. In November, the brand filled the store with 1,000 red roses for an art installation.

Schnaider and her husband Anton launched Kseniaschnaider in 2011, bringing signature cuts, details and techniques to the then-burgeoning sustainable denim sector. The brand carved a niche with its avant-garde designs, including asymmetrical jeans, cowboy jeans and denim fur jackets.

Kseniaschnaider describes its Spring 2022 collection as having a “happy-go-lucky attitude” spanning pieced jean skirts and bralettes to patchwork vests and boxer-style denim shorts.