Though the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine has pulled the nation apart, influential cultural figures around the world have come together to show support for the country currently under Russian invasion. Joining the ranks? Balenciaga creative director Demna, who heart-wrenchingly recalled his own past as a refugee in a statement he shared supporting Ukraine at Balenciaga’s Paris Fashion Week Show on Mar. 6.
Tracy Romulus, the longtime stylist to Balenciaga muse Kim Kardashian, shared Demna’s moving message in an Instagram post, alongside footage of Kim being fitted in the iconic Balenciaga caution tape she wore to the show. Perhaps one of Paris Fashion Week’s most anticipated moments, the Bella Hadid-starring show was attended by celebrities from Alexa Demie to Salma Hayek to Kim K herself.
In Demna’s message, he opened up about his past as an asylum seeker, and how the war in Ukraine “triggered in me the pain of a past trauma.” Demna fled his own home country of Georgia in 1993, an experience he shared “stays in you.” He described himself as a “forever refugee” in the deeply personal note.
Demna revealed that working on the show was “incredibly hard” while his thoughts were with Ukraine. The creative director, 40, even shared he considered canceling the show at one point, explaining that “in a time like this, fashion loses its relevance and its actual right to exist.” But in his lowest moments, Demna shared he chose not to cancel the show to avoid “giving in” to the “evil” in the world. Ultimately, he dedicated the show “to fearlessness, to resistance, and to the victory of love and peace.”
The situation in Ukraine has continued to escalate since Russian forces first began performing ‘special military operations’ across the border in late February. Under the watchful eye of President Vladimir Putin, the army has been closing in on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, and civilians have been taking up arms.
Across Hollywood, many celebrities have spoken out on the horror in Ukraine, especially those who, like Demna, have personal connections to the tragedy. Mila Kunis, who was raised in Ukraine, pledged over 3 million dollars alongside husband Ashton Kutcher to support refugee efforts, and