Origin of the Name: "I started drawing what would become our Bear Mop logo around 2000, right when I graduated from college. It didn’t really have a name or anything yet. But as I grew more and more disenfranchised by what my life had in store for me by working a 9-5, I started thinking about doing T-shirts as a side project to flex my creative side, tastes, whatever. That’s when the whole idea of calling it Mishka came about. Mishka means bear (in Russian) and is a derivative of my own name, Mikhail, or Misha." - Mikhail Bortnik, Format Mag, 2008
Focusing on T-shirts, Mishka's emergence in 2003 took the world by storm, mixing streetwear, music, sci-fi, and just all-around ratchet imagery to create the clothing and cultural empire it sits on today. While "bear cub" is the last thing we think about as we look at scantily-clad women, dripping eyeballs, and Mr. T, the name somehow fits the brand to a T.