The state-owned Ukrainian Cultural Foundation (UCF) has declined to fund grants applied for by the Ukrainian Fashion Week (UFW) organisation this year, following what the latter described as an abrupt change in funding rules.
The decision will impact the country’s premier fashion week, one of the longest-running fashion weeks in Eastern Europe, for its upcoming 49th edition this September. The organisation said that without UCF grants, the Ukrainian Fashion Week event won’t be able to invite international press, will shorten its planned promotional activities for Ukrainian designers and won’t be able to provide free participation for young designers.
“At Ukrainian Fashion Week, we’re always fighting for any piece of funding we could get, and now, [after] being acknowledged by the state for only four years, [that funding is being] taken away from us by the UCF procedure becoming blurry and non-transparent,” said Volodymyr Nechyporuk, CFO of Ukrainian Fashion Week.
The UFW organisation was founded in 1997 and, as well as being responsible for the bi-annual fashion week events, has also organised national competitions that have helped young designers from Ukraine participate in leading fashion weeks around the world. Hundreds of designers and thousands of guests have participated in its events.
Editor’s Note: This article was revised on June 8, 2021 to clarify that funding has been denied to the Ukrainian Fashion Week organisation, rather than the Ukrainian Fashion Week event itself. The two are seperate entities with seperate funding sources.