Combining embroidery with modern silhouettes the brand demonstrates that folk culture exists beyond time. "It develops before our eyes and transforms with society", Natalia Gergeliuk tells us, the founder of Gaptuvalnya.
The name "Gaptuvalnya" comes from "haptuvaty" (to embroider with gold or silver)". This word has two meanings: not only to embroider but also to "tread the path" - to go your own way.
We have asked the designer about her inspiration behind the brand and what fashion means for Ukrainians right now.
What is the spirit behind your brand?
Natalia Gergeliuk: "A person's personality is inseparable from his cultural identity, just as the future is not created without a close connection with the past. These ideas formed the basis of the new collection of the Gaptuvalnya brand, which examines traditional Ukrainian embroidery through the prism of modern values, aesthetic preferences, and challenges."
How did the ongoing war challenge your work?
Natalia Gergeliuk: "Founded in Ivano-Frankivsk, with the beginning of the war the brand not only did not stop working but also shared its workshop with brands from the affected regions, which had to leave their own production. In her collections, Gaptuvalnya emphasizes the appropriateness of a traditional embroidered shirt for any occasion - because respect for one's own cultural identity is definitely due to every Ukrainian."
What does traditional clothing mean for Ukrainians?
Natalia Gergeliuk: "The foundations of the brand concept are the idea that the traditional patterns of Ukrainian embroidery, created many generations ago, have much more than a purely aesthetic component. Embroidered clothing has long accompanied Ukrainians in every moment of their lives, giving them confidence, strength, and a sense of belonging to something greater. Right now, Ukrainians need this energy every day more than ever: connecting with ancestors and realizing their own identity can give them confidence in future victory."