Fashion designer Valery Kovalska does not skip anything.
She is now using the space that was once a restaurant as a live studio.
“I have to fight,” Kovalska said.
She fled the war in Ukraine with a mannequin and lots of cloth. She started in Los Angeles in February, but moved to New York in May. She says the aftermath of the war is now forcing her to start her business from scratch.
What you need to know
- Valery Kovalska fled the war in Ukraine in February and headed to Los Angeles before arriving in New York in May.
- Kovalska has a team of 25 employees in Kyiv, Ukraine.
- The latest concern is that the plant in Ukraine may lose electricity due to the level of the nuclear plant
- Kovalska presented at Kyiv Art & Fashion Days New York
“Just because someone decides to destroy the country, it’s not because you know you’ve succeeded or made a bad business decision,” Kowalska said.
With online files and the help of friends who helped her bring some materials, she found herself in New York City.
“I haven’t seen my mother, my best friends for half a year,” Kowalska said.
Her smile lit up the room as she talked about her factory in Ukraine, where her 25 employees are working under capacity despite the difficult situation. She is diligent about keeping her business afloat so that she can continue to pay her employees.
“I still have to be very optimistic and encouraging for my team,” Kowalska said.
The Associated Press reports that the main nuclear plant is unstable but still provides power to Ukraine, meaning Kovalska workers can continue to work. Kowalska said she will provide her staff with water, batteries and much-needed medicine.
“You never know what can happen,” Kowalska said.
She says she is making her mark in New York City with a strong determination. While at NY1, she was on her way to New York Fashion Week to present her work in solidarity with her country.
The experience of bringing her life’s work to America influenced her clothing.
“why [are] Are people going to travel with that? is it hard I’ve become more practical,” Kowalska said.
Seeing the work of others she admires in the city gives her optimism for the future.
“I look at this and I have a good feeling,” Kowalska said.