Vena Brykalin was appointed editor-in-chief of Vogue Ukraine in 2023 at a critical time for the war-torn nation. Brykalin, now based in Paris, has long been a tastemaker in Ukraine’s fashion scene — but following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, his role took on a whole new tenor. He is a prominent voice in Ukraine’s creative scene and reframed fashion and beauty as an act of resistance.
Following a wartime hiatus, Vogue Ukraine returned to print in 2023, with an issue titled “The Road of Unbreakable,” featuring profiles of stand-out Ukrainian individuals and an interview with First Lady Olena Zelenska who discussed the war and its impact on the country's citizens.
Brykalin has been working in fashion since the age of 19, when he began working at a local fashion magazine in Odessa, Ukraine. He went on to work as a stylist and journalist for Elle, L’Officiel and L’Officiel Hommes, and joined luxury retailer Sanahunt’s creative team in 2012. In 2017, Brykalin became fashion editor of Vogue Ukraine, and succeeded Julie Pelipas as fashion director in 2019.
Brykalin co-founded Tripolar, a series of Paris-based pop-ups promoting and selling Ukrainian art and fashion — which helped get Ukrainian designers on the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode’s Paris Fashion Week calendar in 2022.