Makar Liebermann – Between Fashion and War

On February 24th 2022 Ukrainian fashion designer Makar Liebermann received a phonecall from his mother: “Is everything alright with you? The war has started!” What war, he asked himself. After nine months of invasion there is a lot to talk about- both as a designer and a volunteer.

Fotograf*in: Anna Evstigneeva

After World War One people’s appearance changed, fashion changed, new silhouettes appeared. Balenciaga, Chanel. It was Dior’s New Look, the post-war collection that created a new image and a new understanding of fashion after World War Two.

December 2022

If I were scared, I would leave Kyiv. There is a workshop, I can sew. I was looking for things to sew, for what was needed in this moment.

The question: what should I wear today? turned into: how can I help?

Makar Liebermann stayed in Kyiv. In the ninth month of war he returned to work, and volunteer work has not come to a stop.  After the initial shock, it is now necessary to help by asking what can be done. Every day is a challenge. Makar owns two businesses: in Riyne in western Ukraine, and in Kyiv, which has been closed for a while now. All of the seamstresses – ten women – stayed in Ukraine. The workshop in Kyiv was re-opened eventually and new seamstresses joined the team. He began not to prepare new collections but to dress the army.

From expensive fabric bought initially for an Italian brand they began to fashion pillows for soldiers in gentle blue, then balaclavas, flags, stretchers for the wounded, raincoats, tents, sweaters. All at their own expense. Later they were joined by volunteer fonds, friends from all   around  the world helped by placing orders from him.

A renaissance

Fashion during the time of war is a chain of daily, brave decisions – as long as we can help, we will help and it will be seen. Reflecting, the designer shares his vision of the Ukrainian people after the war – as tone setter of a certain fashion.

„I feel that we are right before a renaissance. I did not expect this because of the pandemic and the war, but historically, it is the darkest night before the dawn.”

The designer recently returned from the 7th Global Sustainable Fashion Week in Budapest. It was only in the EU that he recognized how tired and used to war he had gotten. Abroad his spirits recouperated in no time. He is back in Kyiv; leaving Ukraine is only possible with permission of the Ukrainian ministry of culture. By now, his scarves are flying all over Europe, Budapest, Belgium, Czechia, France and soon Germany.


The founder and creative director of the brand MAKI Maki is working continuously throughout the horrible bombardment of Kyiv, blackouts, even if the light is turned of three times a day for four hours, bad communication. Nevertheless, he is preparing a Christmas-collection of scarves, among them Anastasis.

This article was also published in German.




  • ANASTASIS Tuch FOTO Anna Evstigneeva.2: Anna Evstigneeva
  • ANASTASIS Tuch FOTO Anna Evstigneeva: Anna Evstigneeva
  • ANASTASIS Tuch FOTO Anna Evstigneeva.3: Anna Evstigneeva
  • Portrait_Julia Saßmannshausen: Julia Saßmannshausen

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