My native Ukraine is becoming visible on the world’s fashion map: For the Fall season, two amazing designers—Prabal Gurung and Gareth Pugh—were inspired by a Ukrainian phenomenon of Viking legacy, the so-called “Asgarda tribe” of modern women warriors. Shame on me, but the first time I heard about them was from Pugh, who confessed to me in an interview that his latest collection was inspired by this Ukrainian feminist tribe. I promised myself to investigate this phenomenon. When I returned to Kiev from Paris, I realized that practically no one in Ukraine knows about the Asgarda, despite many articles in the European press. In the end, I grabbed a friend of mine, the editor in chief of Vogue Ukraine, and we went to the astonishingly beautiful Carpathian Mountains, where the Asgarda girls teach art. The word tribe was a big exaggeration. Asgarda girls are not feminists, nor are they eager fans of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, another well-known Ukrainian lady, a stereotype that was also associated with Asgarda. Our training in sword-fighting was not as impressive as the reaction of the Asgarda’s founder, Kateryna, on the collections by Pugh and Gurung. “I don’t understand how these designers managed to transfer all my ideas into clothing. It seems we have a special mental connection. Unbelievable!”

Photo: Courtesy of Daria Shapovalova


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Daria Shapovalova

Fashion Director
Daria Shapovalova is the organizer and creative director of Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days. After a stint interning for Anna Dello Russo, Shapovalova launched her career six years ago with the ...