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Most Renowned Ukrainian Fashion Photographers in the World

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Photo: Editorial Harmony. Cover story for Eclair magazine (France), Source: Serge Bazilic
Photo: Editorial Harmony. Cover story for Eclair magazine (France), Source: Serge Bazilic

Despite Ukraine not yet becoming one of the centers of global fashion, people in the capitals of luxury and extravagance are increasingly mastering the pronunciation of complex Ukrainian names. Madonna is seen in hats by Ruslan Baginskiy, Gigi Hadid appears at presentations in dresses by Elvira Gasanova, Adidas collaborates with Ksenia Schneider, and Parisian shows by Liliya Litkovska have long become a highlight of the famous Fashion Week. 

Ukrainian fashion photographers are increasingly featured in the world's top glossies, and the most successful luxury brands trust them to create their multi-million dollar advertising campaigns and exquisite art editions for VIP clients. Each of the Ukrainian photographers who have become stars in the global fashion industry has followed their own unique path.

Sergei Sviatchenko 

One of the first Ukrainians to gain recognition in the world of fashion photography had almost no connection to either fashion or photography at the time. Born in 1952 in Kharkiv, a painter and master of artistic collage, he emigrated to Denmark in 1990. In 2007, Sviatchenko and his younger son Erik came up with a small and seemingly unserious project called Close Up And Private. Using his son as a model, the artist combined elements of men's clothing and succinctly captured the details of the resulting images with a simple compact camera and natural light against the white wall of his studio.

The photos turned out minimalist, harmonious in lines and colors, surprisingly stylish. And most importantly, they were absolutely unlike anything seen in fashionable glossies at that time. Sviatchenko's shots more resemble abstract paintings than the pompous images of top models. The fashion industry, in constant search of the new, literally seized upon the project. Brands like Costume National, Gant Rugger, Dickies, Mismo, Jack & Jones by Premium, Harris Tweed, AN IVY, S.T. VALENTIN not only collaborated with Sviatchenko but also, influenced by his aesthetics, created new approaches to designing their collections. Many renowned figures in the global fashion scene visited Sviatchenko in Denmark, with Paul Smith becoming his personal friend.

The project successfully existed for several years, after which Sviatchenko did not return to fashion photography and once again delved into the art of collage.

Synchrodogs 

Implementing bright and noticeable projects in the field of contemporary art is an excellent path into the fashion industry. Fashion, essentially a form of modern art, closely follows everything new and unusual happening within it.

Synchrodogs — the duo of photographers Tania Shcheglova and Roman Noven from Ivano-Frankivsk, formed in 2008 — began their joint creative work with bright and relevant art projects, the main theme of which is the interaction between humans and nature. The duo's unconventional and memorable visual solutions immediately attracted the attention of fashion glossies, prestigious competition juries, and leading global brands.

Synchrodogs are published in dozens of foreign media outlets, including New York Magazine, Dazed, British Journal of Photography, AnOther Magazine, and Neon. They photographed Mark Zuckerberg for "Afisha" and created a lookbook for Lady Gaga's clothing collection. Since 2010, the duo's works have been shown at exhibitions worldwide.

In 2020, the Louis Vuitton brand released a luxury album about Ukraine titled Fashion Eye Ukraine by Synchrodogs, dedicated to the Carpathian Mountains. The duo works worldwide, successfully combining personal art projects with commercial photography for international companies and global celebrities.

Serge Bazilic 

Over the past three years, Kyiv-based fashion photographer Serge Bazilic has truly conquered the global fashion glossies. He has approximately 150 publications to his credit in the top publications of France, Britain, Italy, Spain, Canada, the USA, Mexico, and even Australia and Singapore. Parisian editors publish his interviews, and prior to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the photographer managed to shoot several covers a month for foreign publications. And even now, they continue to appear.

Serge actively collaborates with Ukrainian clothing brands, many of which owe their well-deserved success in Western markets to the publications of the photographer's shoots in trendy magazines, attracting the attention of the interested audience to the work of Ukrainian designers.

Serge Bazilic's shoots are incredibly diverse - ranging from pure fashion to sensual cinematic stories. The photographer also works extensively with young Ukrainian actors making their way onto Western screens.

Serhii Vasyliev 

Gaining recognition as the in-house photographer for L’Officiel Ukraine magazine, Serhii Vasyliev now works worldwide, collaborating with major glossy networks and shooting top models worldwide. His simple - with clean lines and even lighting - aesthetic coincides with modern fashion photography trends and has remained one of the most sought-after for classic fashion publications for many years.

The pages of L’Officiel magazines from different countries around the world, including covers of collector's anniversary editions, are filled with the work of the Ukrainian photographer. More and more often, campaigns of iconic brands are associated with his name. He is currently officially based in Barcelona and New York.

Today, thanks to social media, it has become much easier for photographers from anywhere in the world to break into the editorial offices of leading global fashion publishers, but at the same time, the level of competition among aspiring fashion photographers has significantly increased. However, Ukrainian photographers are succeeding more and more - thanks to pioneers who have already earned recognition in the West, the overall growth of professionalism in the Ukrainian photography school, and the fact that Ukraine, fighting for its independence, remains in the focus of attention of the global media.

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