Marie Claire Ukraine heralds a new era by switching from Russian to Ukrainian

Marie Claire Ukraine heralds a new era by switching from Russian to Ukrainian

22 March 2021

Fashion magazine Marie Claire has launched its first Ukrainian-language issue.

After years of publishing in Russian, Marie Claire Ukraine made the switch for its Spring 2021 edition, and now plans to publish in Ukrainian on a permanent basis.

Fashion researcher, editor, and ceramist Nadiia Shapoval, who curated the latest issue, said she hopes the change will mark a wider change among Ukraine’s fashion media, most of which is still published in Russian.

“I feel like there is a [positive] superstition about writing on fashion in Russian because of the longstanding influence of these magazines’ head offices, which were based in Russia,” she told The Calvert Journal. “For me, this is a very colonial way of thinking. I think that [this Marie Claire issue] will show that publishing magazines in Ukrainian is possible, and can be popular and competitive.”

The new Spring issue is dedicated to Ukrainian women, and only includes original work commissioned by the Marie Claire Ukraine team. That includes two original covers featuring street-cast models: “Czarivna” (or “Queen”) depicts a 32-year-old saleswoman from a small village in the central Cherkasy region sitting on a minimalist Ukrainian stove, while the second shows the back of a young girl from a village in the Western region of Ivano-Frankivsk, dressed in a traditional Hutsul costume.

“This spring issue had been in the works for three months, and each photo shoot took place in Ukraine,” said Shapoval. “For me, the greatest challenge was the street casting — the foundation for the three main photo shoots. I wanted to convey my vision of beauty; the beauty of the people that surround us. I am fascinated by Ukrainian women. I am one of them, and I know that nothing can break us. That is why our magazine is dedicated to them — to the real and powerful women [of Ukraine].”

The issue also includes an essay on the Ukrainian language by writer and translator Sofia Andrukhovych, profiles of 60s artist Halyna Sevruk and art curator Pavlo Gudimov, and a conversation with Dakh theatre founder and playwright Vlad Troitsky.