The aim of Ukrainian designer Yuliya Magdych is “to make something very special,” which she does by taking inspiration from her country’s sartorial heritage and its modern political history.
Yuliya Magdych is a Ukrainian designer whose namesake brand has a mission to revive the Ukrainian ancestral tradition of symbolic embroidery, and reimagines the concept of vyshyvanka — the traditional Ukrainian embroidered shirt.
The brand was founded in 2013, at the beginning of Maidan Revolution, now referred to as the Revolution of Dignity, as the time called for new creative ways to show one’s patriotic sentiment. An easy way of showing patriotism after the revolution was just by wearing vyshyvanka. In Ukraine, there is now a tradition that started four of five months after the revolution, of wearing vyshyvanka on Fridays. Magdych founded her company around the same time, when friends began asking to borrow items from her extensive and well-loved collection of vintage embroidered pieces. As a result, Magdych began creating new clothes for them following the old lines, and a business based on a new sort of model was established.
Nowadays vyshyvanka is famous all around the globe and the elements of traditional Ukrainian embroidery were used in the collections of Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Valentino, Gucci, and others. However, for the Ukrainian nation, it has a unique, sacred meaning. Each flower bears a sacral sense, each color encodes an emotion, each symbol tells a story on cloth or may even turn the shirt into a protective charm.
Learning embroidery from her mother when she was a child in Lviv, Magdych boast technically sophisticated ethnic 3D embroidery and eye-catching colour-coding in combination with completely natural fabrics and ancient patterns found in museums, private collections, and research travels across Ukraine. Her colourful line, which includes embroideries ranging from rustic flowers to quirky songbirds, is meant to be worn day and night.
The latest collection of Yuliya Magdych is called “Flower Shop” and consists of the most vibrant pieces so far. It is meant to visualize the blossom of flowers on every item and embody the designer’s sensibility to the beauty of nature. In addition to classic dress and caftan silhouettes, which Yuliya describes as “cosmopolitan”, she expanded the brand’s range with rompers, coats, and capes, merging traditions and modernity.
When asked about the plans for the future, the Ukrainian designer always expresses the desire to stay on the path of creating something unique: “All our designs are limited, my team and I create many of them only in one piece. We want to move in the direction of designing rare, even priceless pieces. I want to show the world the creative potential of the Ukrainian nation via the language of embroidery”. Clearly something’s working, because Magdych was the first Ukrainian designer to be represented at Selfridges.
Today Magdych stays in Ukraine and strongly supports its nation by directing all the proceeds from the sold items to the Ukrainian army.
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