PARIS – The Tuesday digital show of Russian designer Valentin Yudashkin will no longer be shown on the Paris Fashion Week platform, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode confirmed Sunday.
The deprogramming was an emergency measure in light of the fashion label’s silence on Ukraine, according to its president, Ralph Toledano.
“We have a firm stance against the initiative taken by the president of the Russian Federation. We have nothing against Russian [people]but we will not support or accept to have in our calendar those who support his position,” he said in a phone interview.
Valentin Yudashkin has shown intermittently at Paris Fashion Week for a number of years and was invited as a guest member in 2016.
The decision to remove the designer’s show from the calendar was not taken lightly or in haste, coming as businesses big and small have been altering or cutting ties with Russia.
“Our team did in-depth research [since the attack on Ukraine began], to see if he had distanced himself and what was his position in the Russian sphere. It became clear that he is an affiliate of the regime. As such, I consider that he doesn’t have a place in the calendar,” Toledano continued, noting that the fact Yudashkin had designed uniforms for the Russian military had only been one element among others.
Last week, the French federation called for the industry to “experience the shows…with solemnity, and in reflection of these dark hours” and has since asked its 110 members to contribute to the relief efforts for Ukraine.
Asked if this could affect other Russian designers who have been showing on the calendar, including Ulyana Sergeenko and Yanina Couture, Toledano pointed out that inclusion on the official schedules was decided by selection committees composed of federation members as well as industry experts.
“Until now, the sole criteria we considered was creativity and artistic interest of these candidates. We are confronted by a completely new situation. At our very small scale, we will be driven to consider this aspect, since we reject and combat as much as we can the initiative taken by the president of the Russian Federation,” he said, noting that due process would be done in order to ensure fairness as “all Russians can’t be blamed for the actions of the president of the Russian Federation.”
Toledano cautioned against the temptation of anti-Russian sentiment, as those who did “would be the replica of President Putin if we act like that. We have to be smarter than the other side,” he concluded.
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