‘Fashion doesn’t matter now’: Balenciaga’s Creative Director, a refugee, pays tribute to Ukraine

Balenciaga's Winter 22 show saw models stumbling through snow and heads bowed against the wind, as the fashion house's creative director sent a personal message to the people of Ukraine. 

A far cry from a winter wonderland, Balenciaga showcased its Winter 22 collection with a blistering blizzard, as models, donning garments of bold silhouettes and distressed materials, battled their way through fake snow.

For Creative Director, Demna, the show was a deeply personal tribute to the people of Ukraine. At age 12, Demna fled Georgia as a refugee, crossing the Caucasus mountains with his family and living in Ukraine and Moscow before settling in Dusseldorf.

Demna recited a poem in Ukrainian, which, he said, translated along the lines of “your sons will save you”.

Guests of the show were also given the note below on their seats, with a t-shirt in the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

Demna insisted that the medium of fashion was irrelevant to the message of the show. “Fashion doesn’t matter now. The message must be love and peace, and fashion has to assume a strong position in this crisis.”