Fashion is a manifestation of each person individually. Designers are able to see and turn the drawbacks and disadvantages to the benefits, because the true beauty is difficult to be seen, but still impossible to be hidden. In the Diversity you project, the organizers and participants will showcase their vision and ideas for the unique human appearance. Lviv Fashion Week organizer and stylist Igor Stepanyk told us about the project in more details in the interview.
As part of its preparations for the new season, Lviv Fashion Week launches the Diversity You project, which aims to draw attention to the matter of the variability and diversity of the concept of beauty in the fashion world, to provoke the society into discussions and to create an informative publicity around a topic that is one of the leading trends. , which receives rather contrasting reactions and evaluations from different social, age, and national groups, and is at the same time a logical continuation of discussions around the concepts of globalization and tolerance in the modern world.
The Diversity you project, supported by the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, consists of two “unusual” photo shoots, which are being worked on by stylists Igor Stepanik and Elena Boldyreva, photographers Marta Sirko and Andriy Goncharenko, and models will be represented by designers Marta Wyholrolz, Kata Wachholz, Fedir Vozianov and Lesia Semi. Photoshoots will be unusual thanks to “non-standard” in the traditional sense of models – people of different ages, races, bodies, with special features, etc., which will broaden the borders of imaginary and changing stereotypes of the concept of “beauty”, “aesthetics”, “harmony” and “attractiveness”.
Fashion is a part of culture that responds to and reflects contemporary events, and has no limits. The world is changing, the trends and patterns of beauty are changing, but the value of a person’s life and personality remains unchanged. We are all different, but each of us has the right to be fashionable and to be a part of the fashion world, in which they raise environmental issues, express political, economic, historical or religious views, protect human rights and learn about tolerance to others.
Actually, these two extraordinary photo shoots will be presented during the 24th season of Lviv Fashion Week on October 10-13. They will also be the subject of discussion and a push to an active discussion of the issue of diversity in the Ukrainian society, where it is preferable to remain silent about tolerance of those who differ from conventional norms. It is through demonstration and communication that with the help of the project Lviv Fashion Week takes a step towards the introduction of new social values in order to make Ukrainian society more open and appreciate those who do not fit into the traditional picture of the world when it comes to beauty, normality, aesthetics, attractiveness.
The first images of “Diversity you” will appear on the project pages on Facebook and Instagram in August, the public presentation will take place within Lviv Fashion Week on October 10-13.
Interview with the organizer of Lviv Fashion Week
How did the muse come to develop the DIVERSITY YOU project? When and under what circumstances did the idea come about?
During the preparation of the next season of Lviv Fashion week with the support of the UCF, the very origin of the idea of tolerance, which is combined with Fashion, was largely initiated by the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation. We split the project into 2 parts, into 2 photo projects, which are run by 2 stylists – the organizers (one of whom is me), that is, each chooses a photographer and designer and topics that we want to cover as widely as possible about tolerance in society. There are set tasks: each of us has 10 participants, people who want to convey a message to the society about how they live without being different at all.
What does the DIVERSITY YOU heading hide? Were there other name variations?
“Your diversity” is not only to raise and publicize the problems that our participants face, but also to show that the face of fashion, brand and vogue as a whole can be the most diverse people who will be worthy representing the project. The fashion industry has long been a trendy “not typical” look of models (flap ears, expressive body parts, bald hair, red hair, freckles, etc.), and we want to emphasize that regardless of your body structure, birth or acquired limitations, skin color or orientation – you can also be a decent part of the Fashion world.
How long did it take to develop the project concept? How much time was spent on this?
The project is not yet complete while we are in the process. The first shooting has taken place, there will be the second one soon. By October, we hope to actively attract attention in social networks to our project, so we will gradually publish the result of the photo shoots and descriptions of life stories. The opening of the project will be part of Lviv Fashion week. Concerning the preparation: it took about two months to find participants, talk to everyone, understand how important it is to convey this or that problem, get to the concept of the photo shoot and see the project through the eyes of the photographer, as well as pick up the clothes of Ukrainian designers.
It’s probably hard to find designers who have the similar vision with you. By what criteria do you choose them? But are there any criteria?
I am guided by an inner feeling. In this project, I decided to focus on one of the designers to maintain the integrity of the photo project, since the participants are our models (by the way, they worked no worse than professional models), who are very diverse and interesting. Namely, the choice is Vozianov, because Fedor has repeatedly raised the theme of tolerance in his performances and shows. When I told him about the project, I saw that his eyes were lit and that the subject was very close to him, and in general he had a desire to join and become part of the project. This feeling that you and the designer think in the same way only reinforced the inner feeling: “it was the right choice!”.
What is the highlight of DIVERSITY YOU? What differentiates this project from the others about the variability and diversity of the concept of beauty in the fashion world?
The highlight is that we split the project into 2 parts and each of us will show our vision, different stories according to each of us, which are worthy of public attention, and it is unique in terms of submission. The presentation and visualization of two different thoughts will be within the same project: different styles, different photographers working in completely different directions, and each has his own idea how to show what we have laid in the foundation for DIVERSITY YOU.
What is your next project? What will it be associated with?
Honestly speaking, emotionally I’m still under the impression of photo shoot, it was extraordinary to listen to these amazing life stories. Sometimes it was necessary to go out not to show weakness and to cry. I have already planned some meetings with the participants, but I have not drawn a bright plan for the next social project yet.
“At the invitation of the LFW organizers, the Vozianov brand team joined one of the creative teams of the Diversity You project. We were working on images of ten shooting heroes that took place in mid-August. The involvement of our brand in this project was an organic extension of our main idea that clothing is a design object where its functional, visual and constructive importance allows it to be relevant in a timely fashion. As well as being the best for everyone. “
brand manager VOZIANOV