Ekaterina Kukhareva: Ukrainian Designer who made it to London, New York and Paris Fashion Weeks. Her dresses are being successfully sold in Saudi Arabia, Germany, China and Switzerland. What makes her brand successful? What does Ukrainianness mean to her? What is her current collection about and on what will be she working next year? Let us take you on a little journey to Ekaterina’s world of fashion.
Anna Morgan had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Katerina.
We were super excited to find out that a Ukrainian designer was participating in London Fashion Week 2014 and moreover, to get Ekaterina’s consent for an interview right on the first day of the event. Honestly, having never met Ekaterina before, knowing nothing about her collection, it felt like we were intruding into the world about which we are absolutely ignorant – the world of UK top-fashion.
All concerns were allayed minutes after we met. Ekaterina turned out to be an extremely open, cheerful, interesting, and talented young professional.
For most of the time, we talked about her collection, life in the UK, her best clients and plans for future collections.
Katya came to the UK some 15 years ago from Mariupol, a Ukrainian city unfortunately so well-known now due to the current events in eastern Ukraine. At the age of 12 her parents sent Katya to study at a UK boarding school. Despite such a long time spent here, she’s still very much connected with her hometown, which she visits from time to time to see family and friends.
What is Ekaterina’s current collection about?
Katya’s collection has short and long dresses, sweaters, swimming suits, and trousers. All bright-colored, delicate fabrics, vibrant patterns and some even hand-embroidered with shiny beads.
There was also some matching jewelry, created by Chinese-born designer. Other accessories in Ekaterina’s collection include: Iphone covers and shoes – first Katerina’s attempt, which seemed rather successful.
Are there any Ukrainian elements in Katya’s designs?
I was trying to find something Ukrainian in it, but unfortunately failed. The bright colors, gorgeous patterns inspired by china, tiles, and textiles were impressive though. Admirable is the fact that all the patterns and color schemes are Katya’s own creation. Hard working and definitely a perfectionist, she admitted that sometimes it takes up to 10 versions of the same pattern before the final one is chosen.
Regarding Ukrainian patterns, this is something Ekaterina is considering for future collections. May be some time later we’ll see Bukovyna traditional cross stitch patterns on her dresses or beaded embroidery for her gorgeous evening gowns. One of the places to get inspiration for Ukrainian embroidery patterns in London is of course Annual Vyshyvanka March, which Katya promised to attend next year.
Who’s the best client? Who buys most of her collections?
It was the most surprising part of the interview. Unimaginable, really. So the best buyer as you may have guessed from the title of the article is Saudi Arabia. Every year, every collection, all of the dresses (including the short models, which then have to be redesigned into long ones specially for Saudis) are travelling to Saudi Arabian boutiques. And those aren’t cheap! The price range for Katerina’s dresses is £300-800. Well done, Katya!
Next day after the interview Ekaterina Kukhareva left for Fashion Week in New York, where she took half of her collection, leaving the other half at the London Fashion Week. Next stop after the Big Apple is Paris, where she participates in another fashion show.
Despite her busy schedule, Katya promised to stay in touch and follow Ukrainian Events in London!
You can follow Ekaterina on:
For more images from London Fashion Week: check out our album here.