Is the Fashion Industry Standing With Ukraine?

What Happened: After weeks of speculation, Russian President Putin invaded Ukraine in an unprovoked attack on February 24. Since then, the country has fought back and the West has responded with a host of sanctions and military supplies. In China, much as elsewhere around the world, there is intense interest in the conflict. Ukraine’s number one trading partner is China and a translation of Putin’s speech on Thursday has since gone viral in the mainland — the Weibo hashtag #putin10000wordsspeechfulltext received over one billion views within 24 hours.

The Jing Take: Many feel that politics and fashion shouldn’t mix, but to think like this is to shirk our responsibilities as well as to deny the soft power of the latter. At the start of Milan Fashion Week, Carlo Capasa, president of the Camera della Moda said: “At this moment, what is important is the life of people and peace.”

Ukraine is rich with designers, creatives, PRs, gaming agencies, fashion weeks and more. Now they and their country are in jeopardy. The wider industry is directly impacted by the absence of these, our colleagues, many of whom were preparing to attend Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks. Currently, they are living in a war zone.

Now more than ever, our neighbors in Ukraine need to feel supported, if only in the virtual world. We can be active and stand with them in the media, at events, or on our social platforms. At the closing of Milan Fashion Week, Italian designer Giorgio Armani directly addressed the Ukraine-Russian war in his collection. So far, he is the only luxury designer to acknowledge the war against the Eastern European country on the runway.

More needs to be done. Our trillion-dollar luxury sector is one of the world’s most powerful industries and holds much sway. Let’s not step back when that influence is needed most.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.