Launching a label was a lifelong dream for Ukrainian designers Dima Chayun and Anton Yakshyn. Both art degree graduates, they crossed paths on Kiev’s local fashion circuit – Chayun a stylist and editor, Yakshyn a graphic designer and art director – and launched Chakshyn in 2015. “Our visions are well aligned, and we have great synergy when it comes to design, so our work is truly a creative exchange of ideas,” says Chayun.
The brand debuted at Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days in September 2015 with a collection exploring the dualities of femininity and masculinity. “We interpret and fuse masculine and feminine cues and attempt to demonstrate how the two are, in a way, interconnected,” explains Yakshyn. A concept now at the brand’s core, for SS’19 they juxtaposed sharp tailoring with womenswear staples, mixing in references from traditional 18th-century costume.
This vision has proven successful for the brand thus far: Chayun reveals a 15 percent sales growth season on season, with some of their best-sellers including trench coats, outerwear and transformative pieces. He adds that their recent foray into statement jewellery – including drop earrings and hoops with natural pearls – has also been a major hit: “Our first pieces gained a lot of momentum and are selling well; jewellery is now a really important part of each Chakshyn collection.”
Nadine Sacre, founder and buyer of Chakshyn’s latest online stockist – Paris-based boutique Leneuf34 – echoes this positive outlook, disclosing that the brand is one of their most popular: “Chakshyn is one of the most viewed and visited brands in our portfolio and maintains a steady sale rate.” It was also one of the first labels to sell when the boutique launched in early 2018.
“There is a growing trend for masculine meets feminine dressing”
The buyer goes on to attribute much of this success to Chakshyn’s versatile deconstructed pieces: “The unique silhouettes empower customers to modify and personalise pieces like classic blazers, simply by switching a button or detaching a cuff,” she says. Some of their top-sellers, as outlined by Sacre, include an asymmetric deconstructed wool skirt (€382), an elegant pinstripe office blazer (€590) and a workwear trench coat updated with feminine cuffs (€744).
Praising the label’s masculine inspired cuts that embody a powerful feminine attitude, a style highly valued by her customers, Sacre explains: “There is a growing trend for masculine meets feminine dressing, and Chakshyn delivers on this promise. They have created a relevant story that everyone wants to hear, and even more so, to be a part of.”
Chakshyn’s global stockists are growing steadily, enhancing this healthy online presence. While a number of retailers in Asia and the Middle East have supported the brand since launch – such as Nass in Kuwait and Asylum X in Bahrain – Yakshyn notes that they are gaining ground in Europe: “Initially our biggest markets were Asia and the Middle East, but now we are experiencing a lot of interest from clients in London, Paris and Berlin.”
Other than building their reach in new markets, the designers hope to develop a more global brand voice and image. “We want our aesthetic to be relatable to women all over the world,” says Chayun. Fans of the brand will also be happy to hear that another accessories line could be on the cards soon: “In 2019, we are also looking into creating a footwear range.” And given the success of their jewellery line this is surely a wise move.