Ukraine's First Lady Olena Zelenska on the cover of VOGUE UA

Published Tue, 12 November 2019, 17:41

The December issue of the Ukrainian edition of Vogue unveils an ambitious project starring Olena Zelenska, the country’s First Lady. The photo shoot featuring an international team translated into a full-fledged magazine story with the heroine telling about her life in the new capacity, new obligations and opportunities, and fashion as a tool of cultural diplomacy.


«We have made three covers with Olena to show the different facets of her personality. The first cover is a ceremonial official portrait. The second one features Olena with her family - surrounded by the most important people in her life, she looks different - heartwarming and serene. The third one, a digital cover, reveals nothing but a woman, beautiful and charming. We wanted this story to be as honest and candid as could be, and invited Dutch photographer Paul Bellaart to work on the project - his almost documentary style helped to depict the First Lady as true to life as possible, the way she really is», - Philipp Vlasov, Vogue UA Editor-in-Chief comments on the photo shoot.

Paul Bellaart was genuinely impressed by the frankness of Olena Zelenska and her family. «It was a unique experience, for which I am very grateful», he says.


For her formal appearances, the First Lady chooses outfits by Ukrainian designers. In Vogue UA, Olena is wearing pieces from the collections of both Ukrainian and major foreign brands. We are trying to integrate Ukrainian fashion in the global context – it is the choice of Vogue UA Fashion Director and the stylist of the photo shoot Julie Pelipas and the stance of the Vogue UA team.

Vogue UA is the first media platform Olena Zelenska has shared her strategic plans in the new capacity with. She sees her mission as more than simply accompanying her husband on his official visits and making small talk with spouses of world leaders: the First Lady feels she can help those in need – first and foremost people with disabilities and women who suffer from domestic violence.


Olena Zelenska explains the key advantage of her status: the First Lady is always heard. «The President’s spouse has the opportunity to communicate with those who are close to power. Doors of officials do not close before the First Lady. I’m not a politician, and I do not have the right to interfere in the President’s work, but to become an intermediary between people and officials, so that the latter will hear the first, I can and I am really willing to», says Olena Zelenska.

The Vogue UA December issue will hit the newsstands on November 18.

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