Kansas City designers plan fashion show to support Ukraine


The Kansas City fashion community is coming together to support Ukraine. Local designers are planning a fashion show in April to raise money for relief efforts. KMBC 9 found out why the cause is so personal for those involved. “I drew out a sketch of the painted design and a painter in Ukraine painted it,” said Ukrainian designer Olha Potapenko as she showcased a strapless dress featuring sunflowers and the colors of the Ukrainian flag.It’s one of the unique dresses that will grace the runway at a fashion show in Kansas City to benefit Ukraine. Potapenko moved to the U.S. four years ago but keeps in touch with friends and family and Ukraine daily.“I heard from a friend in Kharkiv who had a missile fly into their home and blow up their home,” she said as her assistant Mariya Slipych translated. It’s emotional for Potapenko, who’s lived in Kansas City for about a year and a half. “Since coming to the U.S. I’ve seen that this truly is an independent country that fights for freedom,” she said through her translator, “and I would want for this country to support my country who is also fighting for their freedom.”Fellow designer and friend Christian Shuster was inspired by Potapenko and other Ukrainian-born designers in KC.“It made it more personal on my end and it really helped build the fire in my system to want to do something, want to contribute,” he said. That’s why he’s doing what he does best, putting on a fashion show, to raise money. 20 designers will create pieces all inspired by the Ukrainian flag. “Everybody I talked to immediately said, ‘I’m on board,’” said Shuster, “and it’s really just blown me away and another true example of how amazing this community is.”Kansas City designer Yo Keeton created ornate blue and yellow headpieces for the show.“If anyone is in need, if one person says, ‘I need help’, everyone comes together,” she said. “It’s amazing. I love Kansas City for that.”Potapenko is moved by the support. “Even more I was amazed at the American people and friends that I know, like Christian, who really empathized,” she said, “and they’ve never been to Ukraine but they still felt like they should help.”The $10K for UA fashion show is April 30 at Fire House KC at 45th and Troost. Doors open at 7 p.m. And the show starts at 9 p.m.The event is still looking for donations for the silent auction to help reach their goal of raising $10,000.All of the money raised will go to Heart to Heart International to help with relief on the ground in Ukraine.For tickets and more information, click here.

The Kansas City fashion community is coming together to support Ukraine. Local designers are planning a fashion show in April to raise money for relief efforts. KMBC 9 found out why the cause is so personal for those involved.

“I drew out a sketch of the painted design and a painter in Ukraine painted it,” said Ukrainian designer Olha Potapenko as she showcased a strapless dress featuring sunflowers and the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

It’s one of the unique dresses that will grace the runway at a fashion show in Kansas City to benefit Ukraine. Potapenko moved to the U.S. four years ago but keeps in touch with friends and family and Ukraine daily.

“I heard from a friend in Kharkiv who had a missile fly into their home and blow up their home,” she said as her assistant Mariya Slipych translated.

It’s emotional for Potapenko, who’s lived in Kansas City for about a year and a half. “Since coming to the U.S. I’ve seen that this truly is an independent country that fights for freedom,” she said through her translator, “and I would want for this country to support my country who is also fighting for their freedom.”

Fellow designer and friend Christian Shuster was inspired by Potapenko and other Ukrainian-born designers in KC.

“It made it more personal on my end and it really helped build the fire in my system to want to do something, want to contribute,” he said.

That’s why he’s doing what he does best, putting on a fashion show, to raise money. 20 designers will create pieces all inspired by the Ukrainian flag. “Everybody I talked to immediately said, ‘I’m on board,’” said Shuster, “and it’s really just blown me away and another true example of how amazing this community is.”

Kansas City designer Yo Keeton created ornate blue and yellow headpieces for the show.

“If anyone is in need, if one person says, ‘I need help’, everyone comes together,” she said. “It’s amazing. I love Kansas City for that.”

Potapenko is moved by the support. “Even more I was amazed at the American people and friends that I know, like Christian, who really empathized,” she said, “and they’ve never been to Ukraine but they still felt like they should help.”

The $10K for UA fashion show is April 30 at Fire House KC at 45th and Troost. Doors open at 7 p.m. And the show starts at 9 p.m.

The event is still looking for donations for the silent auction to help reach their goal of raising $10,000.

All of the money raised will go to Heart to Heart International to help with relief on the ground in Ukraine.

For tickets and more information, click here.



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