Balenciaga Creative Director, Demna Gvasalia, joins President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to design charity t-shirt
It is a harsh reality that the war in Ukraine has surpassed its six month mark. This is, after all, is the biggest war in Europe since 1945. It is very grim reality that this is a war of international breadth but also of very real human stories. As such, when Demna Gvasalia, Creative Director of Balenciaga join forces with President Zelenskyy’s United24, you know it’s for good reason. Gvasali is known as a man of real action and now, serving as ambassador for United24, President Zelensky’s fundraising platform, Balenciaga has released a t-shirt to raise money for the Rebuild Ukraine fund.
In the wake of Russia’s invasion, Denma addressed the war in a heartfelt and personal manner. Having been one of the first public figures in fashion to address the war, writing a letter alongside his A/W22 show, he said: “the war in Ukraine has triggered the pain of a past trauma I have carried in me since 1993”. Gvasalia fled Georgia, aged 12, after a Russian invasion and knows first had the experiences of being a refugee.
On announcing the partnership he said, “I know and feel the pain that the Ukrainians are going through very well. I thought a lot about how I can help Ukraine and all the refugees who want to come back home. That’s why I chose to focus on the humanitarian Rebuild Ukraine Direction and its cause. The special Balenciaga T-shirt will become sort of a messenger.” 100% of net profits will be donated to the exclusively humanitarian Rebuild Ukraine Direction. Donations are then transferred to the official accounts of the National Bank of Ukraine and assigned as per need.
The fund is dedicated to restoring Ukraine’s vital infrastructure, from basic roads and bridges, through to hospitals and schools, serving as Ukraine’s main source for charitable donations. The humanitarian direction will enable refugees to come back to their homes and restart their lives.
In United24′s statement, Zelensky thanked Demna for his commitment to Ukraine’s cause. “Thank you for your support, it is very valuable,” said Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “It’s crucial that we keep the world’s focus on Ukraine to help rebuild our country.”
The charity t-shirt is made from 100% organic, vintage cotton jersey featuring a unisex, one size fit. With long sleeves, it features a front and back print with the Ukrainian flag and a QR code. It is priced at 200 euros, approximately £168.
This is yet another example of how our creative industry is a force for evolution and change. We must continue to sustain our creative courage within the industry to support our friends in need.