After launching her new fashion brand ‘Nenya’ in Leeds in October last year, Ukrainian refugee Yana Smaglo is taking her latest fashion range to the capital. The brand has gone from strength to strength, with clients in over ten countries from the US to Italy and Switzerland.
Yana Smaglo previously had a successful fashion and beauty business in Ukraine, but fled the country the day the war started, eventually making her way to the UK. Supported by a number of companies in Yorkshire, she was able to establish a new brand and launched ‘Nenya’ in a Sook outlet in Victoria Gate in Leeds last year.
Sook, who provide flexible retail space in key city centre locations have again offered Yana a unit in Islington Square, to continue their support for her. Yana stated, “I am so excited to be taking my collection to London, this really is a brilliant opportunity for me to raise the profile of both my brand and Ukrainian fashion. I can’t thank the team at Sook enough for their ongoing support and giving me this amazing opportunity.”
CEO at Sook, John Hoyle added, “We loved working with Yana last year, and this is another opportunity for her to showcase her new collection in London. It has been brilliant being able to be part of her journey and to support her, and we look forward to seeing her in Islington there next week. Our spaces provide the perfect opportunity for experiential events like this one, enabling people and brands to pop-up in key city centre locations that they may otherwise not have been able to access”.
Yana has continued to return to Ukraine to source her fashion range and support the people still living in the war zone, she added, “It is so important to me to continue to support both my country and its industries. Many of the fashion items are still cut by hand and the quality is very high. It is hard returning home though. No one there has any plans for the future. The biggest plan is to survive till end of the war. I live in UK right now but even for me a question where do you see yourself in 5 years is really ridiculous. From the positive side, people started to look not just nice, but amazing, going to restaurants, dressing fancy. They try to enjoy life as much as possible, but the next day the bombing starts again, and it is getting less cover in the world news. It’s a very hard situation in the economy right now. The prices grew 30-40%, sometimes 50% and it's really a having an impact. I can't imagine how people survive for average salary there, so want to do everything I still can to help people.”
‘Nenya’ will be showcasing on 23-29 October in Islington Square, Unit G2.2, 116 Upper Street, London N1 1UL. If you can’t make it to the pop-up shop, you can still buy online at www.nenya.online.