I was born at the junction of millennia, the intersection of analogue and digital. I come from a family with mixed cultural backgrounds – my father is Russian and Kazakh, my mother is Tajik. Born in Dushanbe during the Tajik Civil War, my family soon fled to Kazakhstan, where I grew up. My coming-of-age story is somewhat shared with my peers across the post-soviet cultural space – I grew up watching both the old soviet cartoon classics as well as Nickelodeon sitcoms. I got inspired by my grandmother’s work as an art historian, dissecting traditional Central Asian motifs in tapestry, and at the same time became intoxicated with the idea that the world is becoming more connected and interwoven like the very threads in that tapestry, forming patterns and pictures that we are yet to apprehend.

As you can imagine my upbringing was a confusing experience to say the least. The clash of cultures and beliefs made it difficult to find my own place and identity in the new age. When I graduated high school, I moved to Paris for a year to explore and embraced the quest to find myself. There I realized my passion for design and fashion, thus I applied to study at Parsons School of Design. Living in New York, the modern Babylon of culture, has made a deep impact on my outlook, my views have evolved and matured.

This is how Roxwear came to life. It is a study of a complex identity in the surrealistic nature of existence in the post-Soviet cultural landscape of mixing cultures and nations, personifying a response to the plethora of overly simplistic questions regarding our origins, beliefs and ideals. It is a way to express the contrast of beliefs, which magnified in the digital age, where everyone has a voice, yet no one is to be heard.

 

– Roxana Adilbekova