Vancouver Fashion Week FW24 Interview with Tetyana Golota of Love to Ukraine (Canada)

Love to Ukraine will be showing their new collection on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week FW 24 on Tuesday, April 23rd at 7:20 P.M. Purchase tickets HERE!

Bio -

Tetyana is a Ukrainian born Canadian, who moved to Canada 26 years ago with her husband and son. She learned the language, the culture, but kept her own alive as well. With a Master’s Degree and Engineering Diploma in Printing, she successfully built her career in the industry until she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, fibromyalgia and arthritis. 

With physical disabilities, at the age of 44, she walked the runway of Vancouver Fashion Week as a plus size model, then was featured at The Vogue magazine. She is a fashion designer who embraces models of all sizes and ages. Her Ethnic Ukrainian-inspired garments landed the pages of The Vogue magazine as well. She is invited to participate in ECO Fashion Week Australia, ECO Fashion week Seattle and New York Fashion Week. Tetyana believes that sharing her story inspires others. 

She is an active member in her community and was on a core committee for She Talks (CNN mentioned it as the event of the year to attend). She is the proud recipient of the 2015 Heart &Sole Award for supporting and inspiring women.


Interview - 

Please share a bit about your journey to embrace fashion design as a career.

I have a Master Degree in Engineering and have worked in the Industry since I was 16. At the age of 40, I diagnosed with a brain tumor, I could no longer do my career work and had to reinvent myself. I went back to my basics… and they were what I learned in childhood.


How did you learn your skills?

I grew up watching grandma making beautiful things in the community since I can remember. Throughout my life, education and work, I used all that knowledge I learned from her. I love making custom pieces that fit the body perfectly and not paying attention to “sizes,” simply creating relationships between fabric and human shape. To improve my skills, I took courses through an online Design school and Styling school. It is my hobby.


Who are you as a designer?

I know for sure that I am very ECO conscientious. I am trying my very best to use sustainable and recycled fabrics to create garments and to give second life to materials. That’s why a more appropriate name I use in my branding is ECOStylist


What comes easiest for you as a designer? What is hardest?

Easiest is the creative portion and visualization of the end product. Hardest is executing it all to the point of that visualization.

Where do you find inspiration for new designs?

Architecture, nature, people and simply just by touching the fabric. I get so excited to find the treasure and seeing in my mind what that can become. History and meanings.


Readers would love to hear a little about show you will be presenting at Vancouver Fashion Week FW 24?

Definitely it is a presentation of our culture. This season, the focus is on embroidered shirts/blouses (Vyshyvanka) and vests (Kersetka). They are main items in Ukrainian traditional outfits, but also our cultural heritage and heirlooms. Embroidered and cross-stitched blouses and shirts were symbols of protection, love, health and happiness - centuries of history and making. Also, this season, there will be teddy bears/toys patches added to some garments, to bring awareness and attention to children that have been abducted by the Russian Federation since February 24, 2022.


Do you have a favorite look in this collection?

Patchwork I added to send Love not only to Ukraine but to our stolen children.

Where can readers purchase your designs?

Every single item was custom made for someone, which they graciously lent for this show. They are truly heirlooms and can be seen on dancers at Ukrainian Cultural Centre.


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