Ukrainian designer Nina Klymiuk: There’s still time to cry

“The war that the whole world is watching live does not last for weeks. It has been going on for years in the Donbass. For decades the Russians have also interfered in what is happening in Ukraine. After all, Kuchma, Yushchenko , Yanukovych (Ukrainian Presidents – editor’s note) they were theirs, they sold us,” he explains briefly why he and his man decided to put their Ukrainian career on hold and venture into the unknown.

Czechs? Jeans, T-shirts, sweatpants

The decision to leave the Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk, he adds, was first made by her husband. In view of the evolution of the corrupt country, she understood: “We have the advantage of being a dentist. They are needed everywhere. I had my fashion salon in Ukraine, I knew how to sew, I also embroidered. I left with apprehension, but I knew I could do it. »

In a similar vein, the European state where the family settles has been carefully chosen for years. There were more in the game. Among others, France, where she buys fabrics in Paris and participates in the textile development of hotels in Cannes.

And why did the choice ultimately fall on the Czech Republic? “It’s safe, clean, after a while (not long) we will agree here as Ukrainians,” he calculates the reasons they decided on.

As a designer, she has long known that emotions are part of her job. However, joy and laughter reign in his living room.

Photo: Milan Maliček, Právo

Her husband filled the role of explorer with us. He worked for us in his field for a year, he created a certain baggage, and it was only then that Mrs. Nina joined him in Čáslav with her children. Before leaving, she carefully found out where she was going professionally.

As for me, the Czech Republic, he sums up diplomatically that the information was unflattering: “Ukrainian and Russian social networks write about you in a rather ungraceful way. Among other things, the contributors issued a business card to the Czechs fashionable: Those who wear T-shirts, jeans, sometimes change them into sweatpants. »

Beauty does not fail

She didn’t expect much professionally. But she soon discovered that it was not so bad with the Czech taste. She loves our parties, our balls, the effort to dress well at the theater, for weddings… At that time, everyone wants to be beautiful.

“I’m a designer. I can handle that,” he notes, and continues appreciatively, “The Czech sense of beauty isn’t necessarily about clothes. Look at the monuments, the castles, the churches. They give your country incredible beauty. The state contributes to this, trying to preserve them for future generations.”

She has bet on femininity in her work, and is noticeable at first glance in her models.

Photo: Nina Klymiuk Archive

She likes to visit similar objects. He tried to “fit in” from the start. She and her husband agreed to really start over here, not to associate with compatriots, with Russian speakers.

He then describes the integration as almost seamless: “I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t cry here and there at home. Czechs and Ukrainians are not exactly the same. Some have prejudices about us. But those who helped him far outweighed. »

The words of the kindergarten teacher, the primary school in Čáslav, the children’s friends, their parents, customers of Prague sewing helped the words.

i can’t just sit

“You can’t live on one salary, so a month after moving I went to do what I could: sew,” he says, noting that she first sewed patches in a workshop in Prague. , shortened his pants and did a routine. She enjoyed it. She had mastered the basics of the trade long ago, so she could speak. Improve in Czech.

Above the hopeless “pieces”, she also understood why they sometimes succeed. “The gentleman wanted to sew torn pockets on his jacket. But it was also full of holes. I asked my colleagues why she could get a new one at this price. They replied: He got it from his wife, who died. He misses him, he wears this jacket for love,He says.

As a designer, she has long known that emotions are part of her job. However, joy and laughter reign in his living room. According to her, the seamstress and the designer must not only perfectly master the trade, but also be attentive, to provide good advice to the customer when asked.

“Ukrainians and Czechs are no different in this regard. Everyone needs to talk sometimes. Before the wedding dress, for example, we see the client several times. The first meetings belong to the designs, followed by the tailoring , tests. In the end, I know more about the person in question than about her future husband, “she laughs.

“Bespoke clothing, made of quality materials, is a good investment,” he says.

Photo: Nina Klymiuk Archive

And customers can appreciate her, as evidenced by the fact that after a year she moved from Čáslav with her family to Prague, where she opened a salon. Formal and wedding dresses hang on hangers here.

Less ornaments

In the Czech Republic, Ms. Nina decorates them less. But lace and quality fabrics are the basis. “I noticed right away that the Czechs didn’t want to snoop around. But the bride is supposed to be a beautiful princess. Her dress needs to be fitted. They are all my children, I pass them on with love.”

He also has a good insight into our (bad) habits thanks to the fact that he also works in a clothing store. She perceives our clothing “comfort” mainly in Czech men, who already “fit” it, regardless of their profession.

He mentions in a good way that their Ukrainian peers look very different: “Our ministers rely on clothes, sometimes too much. On the contrary, you will find in the Czech news that their Czech colleagues sometimes do not even know what suits them. »

As a fashion expert, she immediately assesses that this is also possible due to the fact that in Ukraine the media pay attention to the fashion taste of the country, respectively. He also gave instructions to readers/viewers. Shows that took people off the streets and turned them into “elegans” were once very popular there.

Sewing as therapy

“Everything has changed since the attack on Russia. Clothes have taken on another dimension. This can help. In recent weeks I have heard from many compatriots looking for a job in the Czech Republic. It would be good to hire them to have other ideas, not to think about their husbands, not to sink into depression”, he thinks aloud how to help war refugees and their children.

According to Nina, the seamstress and the designer must not only master the trade perfectly, but also be attentive, giving good advice to the customer when asked.

Photo: Milan Maliček, Právo

It would suffice to rent the premises. Build a sewing workshop with a room for the children. Someone would take care of them while their mothers worked. “Meaningful work is a remedy for many things. The average skilled person will learn the basics of my craft in a few hours. Stitched things might help again. Also, a similar pattern worked normally,” he says. -he.

Since the Russian attack on Ukraine, a number of such ideas come to mind every day. Although they feel at home in Prague after years, they have a home with their husbands and, above all, relatives in their country of origin. His parents, his mother-in-law, his sister and his three children refuse to leave the country in danger.

“Dad will be sixty years old. He recently broke his arm. Like a volunteer, he helps the soldiers. They are decades younger, they love it too: We will win with you,“He says, adding that the plan to keep loved ones safe is not giving up: ‘I persuade them daily. War, the Russians are closing in on them. Better not think about it!”

Czech and work

He also identifies President Putin as the culprit of the massacres: “They legalize the killing of people, women and children. They let their politicians speak. And they don’t see us Ukrainians as a nation or an equal. When Volodymyr Zelensky arrived, they knew they were losing us. They started the war.”

The strong words partly reflect family history, his grandfathers fought in World War II. The Ukrainian has already called for the country’s independence from the Banderas.

“The Russians behave like Stalin. He caused a famine in Ukraine in the early 1930s, during which millions of people died. The Ukrainians still have not submitted. We will defeat them again!” he.

He knows that everything can take time and that he still cries a lot: “It is always better to look to the future. Even though ours includes a variant that the husband recruits. “Compatriots who now come to the Czech Republic are always advised to learn Czech quickly and do anything: ‘In the beginning, I also communicated with my hands and feet. Yes, the tears come, it’s just time for them. He has to think about the kids.”

They realize that it will not be easy to get the job they want. Czech law is not very favorable to foreigners: “Patience, understanding others is the only way to deal with it. My hope is the young generation growing up thanks to the Internet in a world without borders. We all need to keep in mind that God didn’t create the states, he created the earth. And evil only begets evil.”

Leave a Comment