Fashion designers in the British capital are uniting to advance the “An Hour For Ukraine” initiative before Christmas. With support from the archbishop of Canterbury and the mayor of London, British landmarks will switch their festive lights off for an hour at 8pm local time on Wednesday, the darkest day of 2022. These landmarks include Trafalgar Square, Canterbury Cathedral, Lambeth Palace and the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, and several other key locations in Paris, New York and Sydney.
This initiative, organized by Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, involves his fundraising platform United24, members of the Ukrainian parliament, fashion and creative platform 1 Granary, and War Against War, an alternative media organization. All of these players are a part of a $10 million fundraising drive to obtain generators to heat hospitals across Ukraine this winter.
Social media platforms come with their own set of drawbacks, yet they still have the ability to spread news across borders in a powerful way. With a bachelor’s degree in fashion design from Central Saint Martins, the founder of 1 Granary, Olya Kuryshchuk, has pushed for fashion brands to use social media platforms as a way to encourage audiences to turn off their lights for an hour at home from around the world.
In explaining the message behind this affair, Kuryshchuk said “I am part of the global fashion industry but I am also Ukrainian. Part of my family is still in Kyiv and they don’t have electricity, heating, water, internet, or phone connection along with over 10 million people. The ‘An Hour For Ukraine’ awareness campaign is set up to bring attention to the humanitarian catastrophe in my home country.”
The designers participating include Charlotte Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault of Knwls, Richard Quinn, Charles Jeffrey, Stefan Cooke, Chopova Lowena, Kiko Kostadinov, Paolina Russo, Masha Popova, Sinéad O’Dwyer, Eftychia Karamolegkou, Lutz Huelle, Ranra, Paula Canovas Del Vas, Jordan Dalah, Duran Lantink, Katie Burnett, Tallulah Harlech, Michael Stewart of Standing Ground, Robyn Lynch, and Goom Heo.
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