Team

Gina Grünwald

Designer & Founder, from Zürich Switzerland

Why did you decide to start this project?

Thursday 24 February 2022 marks a day that forever changed our generations reality. That day ended peace in Europe and started an inhumane war against my Ukrainian friends. I started this community project to unite Ukrainian, Russian, slavic and international creatives to raise money and send a strong message, that we as the young generation in Europe stand united against this war.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

Through my design process and making of these 3 Plex Bags I learned so much about the richness of Ukrainian history, its culture, art and poetry. As a knitwear designer I was especially drawn into the beautiful embroidery traditions. Their textile designs are extremely rich in different patterns and colours, each portraying Ukraine from a different angle. Ukrainian embroidery always conveys a symbolic meaning and traditional shape and colours vary from region to region.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

Using my craft as a powerful political tool and creating meaningful projects like this in the fashion sphere. Uniting like-minded creatives with my brand GINA GRNW and working hard, side by side, to put our skills at use for a good cause. This gives me hope — we need to focus on the positives in dreadful times like this.

Victoria Vorobeva

Videographer, from Moscow Russia

Why did you decide to start this project?

The first couple of days of the war was an insane experience. I cried every single day sometimes all day long. I was absolutely speechless and heartbroken. I have been collaborating with Gina Grünwald for a long time now and when she offered me to take part in this fundraiser I wasn’t hesitant for a single second. Helping Ukraine in any way possible was the only thing that made sense then and the only thing I could think about. I am so grateful to be a part of such an incredible initiative which is not only aiming to help women of Ukraine but also to acquaint people from all around the world with the beautiful Ukrainian culture.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

Sincerity and pure love and respect towards their homeland and people.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

Reading stories every day about the indestructible heroism of the Ukrainian people.

Johann Kööp

Visual Artist, from Tallinn Estonia

Why did you decide to start this project?

Ever since the war started I knew I wanted to contribute creatively, but wasn’t quite sure what to do until this project came along. Being familiar with the bags and the zero waste concept adds up as well. I also really appreciate the community feel of the project, with many people coming together and sharing their creative energy freely.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

I really like the welcoming spirit of the Ukrainian people. I really appreciate their rich traditions. Being from Estonia we also have rich traditional patterns for clothing. It’s fascinating to see the Ukrainian traditional patterns.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

It's so much about the kindness of people. Just seeing so many people come together and help brings a comforting feeling. This war also makes me appreciate things in life that we usually take for granted. I surround myself with music and silly humour to keep the mind away from the news all the time.

Nataliia Bazaka

Model, from Rivne Ukraine

Why did you decide to start this project?

I believe that in such a difficult time we should talk and disseminate information about Ukraine and its culture, to support the Ukrainian people. So when I learned about this fundraiser, I gladly decided to be part of it.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

I have lived in Ukraine all my life. I was brought up with all of our traditions and have absorbed the whole culture of our beautiful country. So what inspires me the most is the attitude of our people to our culture, the way Ukrainian people for so many years constantly support and appreciate our ancient traditions.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

In this difficult time, people give me hope. When I see millions of people unite to help Ukraine, it inspires me and brings us closer to victory. Слава Україні! Героям Слава!

Viktoriia Rykovtseva

Model, Kyiv Ukraine

Why did you decide to start this project?

In this hard times for my country I want to help in any possible way. I loved the idea of this project, so I wanted to be a part of it.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

I am absolutely in love with the DNA of Ukrainians: courage, honesty and loyalty.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

Our people. Their resilience and spirit is the reason to be hopeful for a bright future for Ukraine.

Bernando Ferreira

Make-up Artist, from Albufeira Portugal

Why did you decide to start this project?

We live in a society which has experienced a resurgence of fascism and authoritarianism. Our generation will be the ones who will suffer the consequences bought on by facist dictators like Putin. Ukrainians deserve solidarity, so if I can do my part by using my craft to support the Ukrainian people, then I will.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

The BREAD! Especially Ukrainian Garlic Bread, I could eat trays of it. I also love the underground club scene in Kyiv. It’s a breeding ground for creativity and generations of young people have found their identities through these parties held in squats and warehouses. It has created a really inspiring creative movement for a generation of young people affected by economical and political unrest.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

The determination and bravery of the Ukrainian people wanting to defend their land gives me hope, and the level of solidarity shown by the world makes me believe that Putin will not succeed. I just hope that the world continues to support and do more to mitigate this threat.

Adam Urbanik

Assistant, from Nitra Slovakia

Why did you decide to start this project?

Amid the anger and frustration stemming from the atrocities we all have been confronted with since the end of February, I somehow couldn’t shake off the feeling of gratitude. I felt lucky to still have a place I can call home. I felt lucky to live in a city where my day-to-day life can go on - uninterrupted. I felt lucky to know that my family - miles away from me - is safe, and I don’t have to worry about what they might go through in the next instant. And when I was approached to participate in this project, I felt extremely lucky to be able to contribute to much needed help by doing something I’m passionate about, something so integral to who I am. Being a part of this project - and joining a team full of like-minded people and amazing creatives - felt extremely empowering and I will always be lucky to have had the experience of working alongside them.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

Coming from a Slavic country myself, it is the intricate symbolism behind the traditional Ukrainian embroidery vyshyvka and the utter pride with which it’s being reimagined nowadays.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

The bravery and resilience of Ukrainian people and the humanity, compassion and unity that I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by.

Lucio Alonso

Portrait Photographer, from Barcelona Spain

Why did you decide to start this project?

When I got approached to get involved in this project I thought it was a really good opportunity to apply my own set of skills to a good cause.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

For me, this opportunity was really important because I was never introduced to Ukrainian culture. I’ve always had an outsider's view of the country. I think the Ukrainians I've met and their spirit are what I appreciate most.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

I try to take things slowly and focus on what I have right in front of me, day by day.

Matthew White

BTS Photographer, from Belfast Ireland

Why did you decide to start this project?

I felt that it would be a great way to try and raise awareness in my own way.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

As someone who has only recently started learning about Ukrainian culture, I am struck by the sense of community of the Ukrainian people.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

Definitely the response we've been seeing on social media among young people. It's great to see the new generation taking a stance in such a strong powerful way.

Asma Hamdi

Assistant, from Prague Czech Republic

Why did you decide to start this project?

I decided to join because I think it is an important cause and I find the creativity around this fundraiser inspiring.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

I have had a close Ukrainian friend throughout primary school, and spend a lot of time at her house. Apart from amazing Ukrainian cuisine, I like the morals, emphasis on family and a drive to work really hard. This is less present in cultures in Western Europe.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

The Media exposure. All the information all over social media about the war is probably one of the crucial elements that is helping people understand what is actually happening. I have seen many Tiktoks showing actual day in a life in Ukraine now, done in a serious or even humours way. I think this helps bring more attention of charities, creatives and individuals to support Ukrainian people and act.

Dasha Gonchar

Assistant, from Kamianets-Podilsky Ukraine

Why did you decide to start this project?

I decided to join this amazing project because it supports my country and I want to do everything that I can to help Ukraine.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

I adore Ukrainian heroism, strength and unity! And I also love Ukrainian food and a lot of our traditions.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

My parents, grandmother and friends, that have decided to stay in Ukraine. Now I’m just waiting to return home and hug them all as tightly as possible and say how much I love them.

Anna Holub

Model, from Kyiv Ukraine

Why did you decide to start this project?

After the war started, there were so many exciting projects launched all over the world. I wanted to join and show my support to my people. Besides, I really loved the designs. I think that it is an authentic collection with interesting intake on Ukrainian culture.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

Everything. I love how alive it is despite more than a 1000-year history. It reflects our national story, values and character while being flexible enough so that every new generation can adapt it to their views.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

My belief in Ukrainians. I know that we will win this war and that there is an amazing future ahead. As long as we have each other and Ukraine, everything will be okay.

Mariia Ershova

Fashion Designer, from Moscow Russia

Why did you decide to start this project?

From the very first days of war until now, as a Russian citizen, I was asking myself questions about how we allowed this war to happen and what we can do now in order to stop it as soon as possible. With this project it was a great opportunity to show support to Ukraine and once again speak up and not stay silent.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

During soviet times a lot of Ukrainian artists (for example Malevich) were wrongly claimed Russian and presented in mass culture as Russian cultural figures. So, I would say definitely the fine art aspect of Ukrainian culture with its own symbolism and mythology.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

Work, definitely. When I am writing this, it is the 55th day of war. I think the only way to keep on going and hoping for the end of this massacre is to keep doing what you are good at, not stoping speaking about what is happening in Ukraine, and raising awareness.

Fauve Penketh

Fashion Designer, from Brighton England

Why did you decide to start this project?

I decided to join this project to show my support and collaborate with other creatives in the hopes to educate myself and others around me about Ukrainian culture, art and poetry.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

I really appreciate and admire how this year, regardless of their situation - the people of Ukraine have been immensely resilience and powerful.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

The overwhelming sense of community and the way people unite to do what they can in difficult times, gives me hope. Through doing this project, I feel I’ve learnt a lot. I am very grateful for creatives around me uplifting and supporting each other through creative outlets.

Kezia Parkins

Nail Artist, from London England

Why did you decide to start this project?

This was such amazing amazing way to help Ukraine and contribute. To do something with my art that will be used in a campaign to raise funds for Ukrainian people.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

The people from Ukraine I have met. They are one of the loveliest people. I hate to think that them and their families could be suffering in this horrible war.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

Knowing that there are people in the world full of love and acceptance gives me hope.

Elizaveta Chudiova

Videographer, from Moscow Russia

Why did you decide to start this project?

I’m Russian and I’m shocked by what’s happening now. I’m trying my best to do something to help support Ukrainian people and spread information and awareness. When I heard about the project I had to be a part of it!

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

I never have been to Ukraine, but I have friend from there and they all are very lovely people. I listen to Ukrainian music and I find their musicians super talented. I think for the last years I’ve been only on the concerts of Ukrainian bands and I really loved it.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

I know that good always wins! This awareness is exactly what gives me a hope these days.

Shona Coyne

Digital Florist, from London England

Why did you decide to start this project?

I wanted to help raise funds for Ukraine in any way I could. And I specifically liked the focus on celebrating Ukrainian culture with this project.

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

I love flowers. Ukraine is one of the biggest producers of sunflowers in the world I am very fond of their fields full of sunshine.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

Hope is found in so many people coming together to help — all offering love and kindness.

Mustafa Miljkovic

3D Generalist, from Zürich Switzerland

Why did you decide to start this project?

When I was a child there was war in my country. My family was able to seek refuge in Switzerland. If I can help and give back in anyway, I will always try my best to do so. When every person gives just a little bit, you end up with a lot!

What is something you appreciate about Ukrainian culture?

I was born in Bosnia. My Ukrainian neighbours and we have a lot in common; food, old traditions, our countryside life and a warm togetherness.

What gives you hope during this hard time?

The fact that so many people are willing to help in anyway they can. My hope is that we keep strong together and keep fighting for our rights and peace on this earth — no matter where your home might be.