It’s been almost 60 years since one Kiev craftswoman, Oleksandra Koval, started to make traditional Ukrainian shirts called ‘vyshyvankas’ and for the last two decades she has been selling them at Kiev’s most popular tourist market on Andrew’s Descent.
Oleksandra Koval explained that things had changed: “Before, when the previous authorities ruled the state, we had never expected some people to buy vyshyvankas for Independence Day celebrations. But this year on Independence Day we dressed [in vyshyvankas] even dogs, cats, babies and men. Our people have realized: we are Ukrainians!”
It’s not only Ukrainian authentic shirts that have become popular. T-shirts with the Ukrainian coat of arms and anti-Russia slogans have became a trend in the country.
One customer, Iryna, said “We have become patriotic. If we respect something that is our own, other countries will respect us. We should respect our language, our culture, our coat of arms, our flag.”
Hanna Kovalenko and Anastasiya Yankovenko are the founders of the Ukrainian brand “Must Have”. They opened their first store in Kiev 2 years ago, but it was not until the Ukraine Revolution that people became excited about their ‘Made in Ukraine ‘items.
Anastasiya Yankovenko said:
“Many people like me started to buy everything that is Ukrainian. And why not? Why don’t you choose Ukrainian product if it’s competitive?!”
But ‘Vyshyvanka’ fashion is going beyond Ukrainian wardrobes – black, red, white ornaments are getting more and more popular among car-owners.
This woman decided to dress her car in a traditional Ukrainian outfit at one of the city car-services.
“I took a notice of this patriotic call – people wearing traditional Ukrainian vyshyvankas, putting national symbols on their cars – giving a second birth to Ukrainian tradition. And I really liked it, so I decided that my car should also get decorated.”
Meanwhile another car is waiting for folk dressing at the car-service. Viktoria Kovtun, manager at the car-service, told Euronews that the company had to broaden its gallery of ornaments since the first order came in early spring. Some people bring their own patterns to put on their cars. It’s normally two to three cars a day ordering a ‘car-vyshyvanka’.