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In Her Own Words

Behind The Seams Editorial Interview Series

In Her Own Words - DZHUS on the war in Ukraine at Erebus

For DZHUS team, February 24 began with explosions all over the horizon, as Russia started its attack against Ukraine.

"I got petrified with terror. In 5 minutes, I was packing an emergency bag. We called our relatives to check if they were alive" - designer Irina Dzhus recalls. Together with her husband and business partner Anatolii Elgert, and their 3 cats, she had to spend the next 4 days in a basement, hiding from bombing, before they could finally take the risk to escape from Kyiv suburbs.

"The first few days were the most horrific. I was so shocked that I could neither sleep, nor eat or even breathe properly" - Irina shares.

Then it took about 40 hours of an extremely tough journey to get to a safe place. The brand (and the cats) found their temporary refuge in Warsaw, Poland.

It was only possible to bring as many outfits as would fit in one luggage piece, so the hard choice was made immediately - and a small SS22 drop was given a chance. Until the team finds a way to resume their production processes, they have focused on stock sales.

As an ethical and cruelty-free brand, DZHUS cares about animal rights in the first place, especially now that many pets are abandoned. To help protect them, DZHUS will be donating part of the profit to animal shelters and support Ukrainian army with an equal amount. The rest of the funds will be used to maintain the brand's activity. 

DZHUS gained recognition because of its multipurpose wardrobe items that transform radically, including modification of clothes into bags and headpieces. The avant-garde yet highly functional designs embody the brand's vision of sustainable consumption without limitation of creativity. Irina Dzhus has always considered fulfilling these innovative concepts her personal destination, whatever challenges she'd have to overcome.

During this hardest time for all Ukraine, it is crucial that the international cultural community consolidates in a mission to save authentic heritage of this peaceful, independent country.

Erebus is donating 50% of our profits of the sale of all DZHUS styles to OutRight International Action, a multinational charity supporting the LGBT+ communities around the world in need. To support OutRight International Action directly, click here.

To support animal rights initiatives, follow the instructions here.

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