Espreso. Global

Mariupol defender with call sing Gandalf becomes face of new clothing brand campaign

3 March, 2023 Friday
12:13

Illia Samoilenko, a defender of Ukraine from the Azov Regiment, has become the face of a new campaign for the Ukrainian clothing brand Indposhiv Bespoke and starred in a fashion video

The information was posted on the brand's Instagram.

Illia Samoilenko, a defender of Ukraine, a soldier from the Azov Regiment with the call sign Gandalf, who defended Azovstal, dreamed of becoming a client of Indposhiv Bespoke before the full-scale invasion. According to the brand's website, he has been interested in the history of clothing since childhood and loves quality suits.

"During the 8 years of war, Illia has changed. He survived captivity. He lost an arm and an eye. For him, we created an improved design of one of the sleeves for comfort and perfect fit. This is the same individualized Bespoke approach that we cherish so much," Indposhiv Bespoke noted. 

The 28-year-old officer of the Azov regiment's intelligence department took part in the photo and video shoot. He appears in an elegant black suit.

"Any struggle leads to development, because any struggle is aimed at overcoming difficulties. Overcoming yourself is the most important thing. When you overcome yourself, everything else will be very easy for you. Everything else will simply not be an obstacle for you, because you have already won the main struggle. Then you win others. Spirit is a force that has no dimension, it cannot be measured, just like willpower. I am inclined to believe that it has binary states: one or zero. Either it is there or it is not. A soldier will not flee the battlefield. He will always be there, and he should always be there. Yes, everyone has moments of darkness, moments of depression, but this does not affect anything at all. To understand your strength, you need to overcome your fear. What matters is the end result, who a person becomes after all this," Illia shares his philosophy.

Speaking about military uniforms, Gandalf emphasizes that they are not just armor. A man's suit is a derivative of a military uniform.

"The fit, color, lining, material - all of this matters. Traditionality and the fact that it is an unchanging tradition, it is skill, it is a craft. The work of a master, the work of a person who is fanatically devoted to his craft, a true artisan, is a piece of history that you put on yourself, but which does not age, it is a classic," the hero notes.

He shared that Bespoke is an opportunity to create something together, something beautiful. Because one can create together with a tailor.

"Gandalf" went to defend Ukraine in 2015. He was seriously wounded, but that didn't stop him. He was fitted with a titanium steel mechanical prosthesis and an artificial eye. Ilya Samoilenko learned to shoot with a prosthesis and a missing eye.

Before the war, Illia studied at the History Department of the Kyiv National University, but did not have time to graduate. He is fluent in English and during the defense of Azovstal he often addressed Western audiences to tell them what was happening.

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