The fall of the Berlin Wall is one of the most well-known physical manifestations of the end of Communist leadership and, by extension, the USSR. It's so synonymous, it's approached even the realm of on-the-nose overuse. But while the wall came down over two decades ago, unleashing the style and culture of the Western nations amongst the once-isolated in the East, very few have attempted to break down the metaphorical barriers between the former Soviet Bloc and export that perspective back west. Some have tried, few have been felt in a meaningful way; but nearly no one has introduced the world to the nearly-exotic blend of what Russia was (and currently is), quite like Gosha Rubchinskiy.

Rubchinskiy's debut collection was shown in 2008, but his story begins well before that. Just starting school in 1991, Rubchinskiy was uniquely placed to be cognizant of the changes entering Russia after the fall of the USSR. As the nation was still reeling from centrally planned culture, Russia was caught between two identities. One one side, an expressionless and stark uniformity. On the other, the eye-popping energy and consumerism of Western Europe and the United States. The sudden influx of logo-drenched designs may have caused a cultural hangover for some, but for Rubchinskiy, it was an inspiration.

While some may accuse Rubchinskiy of simply regurgitating the designs of the '90s, that's hardly the case. Viewing this aggressive aesthetic from the lens of memory, he's looking for inspiration, not to simply copy the work of others. It's so much more than being inspired by what was en vogue 20 years ago. "We want to catch a moment, and with all the 90s hype, this is the moment," Rubchinskiy told 032c. "[Creating designs inspired by] The Tommy Hilfiger logo is just a game. You take a reference from the past and fill it with a meaning from today. It's not about the '90s." That's likely why his take on the Hilfiger logo—inserting Russian and Chinese flags instead—resonates a rivalry that's dominated the Eastern Hemisphere both in past and in present.