Oksana Vyshnya: “Crisis is a time of opportunities”

Oksana Vyshnya

Oksana Vyshnya

“A crisis is a time of opportunity,” Oksana Vyshnia , the founder of the Ukrainian brand Blast Out , shares in an interview with Woman Magazine. Despite all the difficulties, she believes in the future, continues to work in Ukraine and shares the realities of the fashion business in the conditions of war.

The life of Ukrainians has changed since February 23: from life-work balance we switched to war-life balance. How do you find your personal balance?

From February 23 and throughout March, I was in a state of total despair. All my attention was focused on the news and I lived in the hope that all the madness would end today or tomorrow. In a moment, I realized that I was starting to exist, not to live, and it was impossible to continue like that. I cannot influence global processes, but I can influence myself.

In a moment, I realized that I was beginning to exist, not to live

I started with my body, no matter how difficult it was to return to sports and proper nutrition, I wanted to prove to myself that I can still master things that depend 100% only on me. Little by little, she refocused on the new realities of work, formed new big and small goals, was engaged in the search for factories that were already bravely continuing their work at that time.

Unfortunately, the military and political situation in Ukraine has not changed, but I have. First of all, the fact that I am aware of myself as a person who knows how to make a choice on my own: to be weak and subject to fears or free and brave to start  all over again, completely reformat the business, restore family values, or even rebuild one’s own country.

Oksana Vyshnya

Oksana Vyshnya

How does the fashion business function now in the conditions of war?

It is difficult to function, but, like our state, it will not give up in any case. We are completely dependent on imports, which is why we are experiencing a catastrophic shortage of fabrics and accessories in warehouses. At that time, suppliers depend on the exchange rate, so they significantly increase prices and minimize the volume of product purchases. But I want to note Ukrainians, despite all troubles and economic instability, the demand for products “made in Ukraine” remains at a decent level.

The demand for “made in Ukraine” products remains at a decent level, – Oksana Vyshnya

Have you changed your workflow strategy? Which vector is chosen now?

Our production is quite small and we did not have time to reach large volumes, this helped us. Therefore, such a mechanism is much easier to rearrange than our larger colleagues. Part of the team went abroad, so there was a replacement at some places, we cooperate with someone online, and some have increased working hours. We have also found very worthy outsourcing partners and are deepening our cooperation.

A crisis is truly a time of opportunity, and our team understands that. I am grateful to everyone for their courage and dedication to the brand.

Oksana Vyshnya

Oksana Vyshnya

Ukrainian politicians emphasize that business should continue to work, create and save jobs, pay taxes, and popularize Ukraine in its various manifestations. Do you feel this is your mission?

Yes of course. Before the onset of all these events, I did not feel such a great desire to be useful for the state. For the most part, I was guided by the ambition to make the lovemark brand so far only within the borders of Ukraine. But the war made its corrections and my ambitions were multiplied by love and devotion to my own country. Now, more than ever, I enjoy the opportunity to pay taxes, to involve our business in helping Ukrainians who are in difficult living conditions. And, of course, the main thing is that I am happy about the opportunity together with others  dedicated entrepreneurs to build one common and powerful brand called “UKRAINE”.

Blast Out released a patriotic drop with artist Sonya Morozyuk. Tell us about your collaboration. What are the main motives you put into this drop?

I’ve been thinking about collaboration for a long time, but I didn’t rush it at all, because I clearly understood that it should not be about commerce, but about something much deeper. And then everything happened by itself, at first there was a desire to create t-shirts “with meaning”, on which we would reproduce not just a print, but a reflection of the inner state of each of us. Sonya immediately came to mind, because it is she who expresses the thoughts of our hearts so sincerely and at the same time simply. That same day, I asked her out for coffee, and soon we were enthusiastically discussing the collaboration. Next, the artist created exclusive paintings for the project, which we turned into prints.

Well, now we are preparing for the start of sales. The percentage will go to the Masha Foundation, which is actively involved in humanitarian aid for women, children and the elderly.

patriotic drop with artist Sonia Morozyuk

patriotic drop with artist Sonia Morozyuk

German stylist Frank Peter Wild supports Ukraine by showing patriotic outfits every day in its social networks. Will Ukrainian folklore motifs become a trend all over the world?

As a Ukrainian woman, I am sincerely grateful to Peter for such sincere and devoted support. But at the same time, I understand that such loud yellow-blue formats of the appeal “for Ukraine” were valid only the first  months No matter how painful it is to admit it, foreigners are already getting tired of pro-Ukrainian messages. Such is human psychology, and you can’t do anything about it.

Foreigners are already getting tired of pro-Ukrainian messages

But this does not mean that you should be silent. We, creative people, ordinary Ukrainians should continue to demonstrate to the whole world the sincerity and beauty of our nation, the depth of our history. I think that this is what can continue to form and delicately support interest in Ukraine.

For example, recently, from which I received incredible aesthetic pleasure, there were  products, collections and collaborations precisely in the folklore genre. FOLK jackets with a traditional Ukrainian scarf from designer and influencer Alina Frendiy. A fantastic collaboration  Ruslan Baginskiy with Italian brand LUISAVIAROMA. And Katya Silchenko’s new capsule collection is a wonderful and gentle interpretation of the Ukrainian ethnic group. I am proud of this creativity and believe that it is the talented Ukrainians who are the global trend that is just gaining ground  of revolutions

In your opinion, how should the wardrobe of a Ukrainian woman be formed now? What things are must-haves, and which things can be safely abandoned?

According to my observations, Ukrainian women have always had good taste. And even now, despite the huge stressful conditions, our women in some fantastic way continue to look stylish, probably it’s already at the genetic level.

Comfort and versatility are what you need from your wardrobe now, and festive and overly sophisticated outfits have lost their relevance for a while. Relaxed classic blazers and trousers, oversized shirts, tactilely comfortable pajama suits, t-shirts made of high-quality knitwear. This is roughly what a capsule looks like that covers all the needs of a Ukrainian woman in 2022.

Comfort and versatility are what you need from your wardrobe now

And how has your personal wardrobe changed?

My life had always been full of dynamics, but with the advent of the war it became even more frantic. For the first two months, I wore the same tracksuit, and my favorite designer bags were replaced by an old but super practical The North Face backpack.

When I returned to Kyiv in April,  realized that I continue to wear sports shoes, sneakers and such a familiar backpack. This also affected the creative processes in the work of Blast Out. We focused more on designing practical clothes for everyday life. By the way, 80% of my wardrobe consists of Blast Out items.

What would you like to say to Ukrainians and the world today?

I want to say something why I was taught fairy tales from childhood, and then, in a more mature age, careful observation of people and life experience: good always wins over evil! This is a fact, a constant, a law of the universe. So the only thing we need is to clearly understand which side we are on and pass every step, every word and emotion through the filter of goodness and love. Despite all the pain and horror my country is currently experiencing, I still believe in humanity.

How do you see Ukraine in 10 years?

A country where a free and happy generation is growing.


Photo: PR agency 

 

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