CHRISTIAN COWAN/Vijat Mohindra
Christian Cowan has been a voice for extreme design to meet the real world. With his collections, he transcends a movement with purpose with some of the most elaborate designs. For this collection, Cowan collaborated with Lil Nas X on a campaign that profits one of the most important movements of our generation.
Lil Nas X is one of the most pioneering voices for the generation as he’s tapped the industry as a fashion icon and liberating LGBTQ+ leader. The rapper was so in tuned with this collection that he even co-designed with Cowan on a few of the designs. The collaborative partnership began to brew when Cowan dressed the rapper for the 2019 VMA’s. The sparkling silver suit came behind inspiration of the fashion musical icon Prince, which was decked in sequins and a ruffled lace style blouse. The collection has been in the world for well over a year which benefits the LGBTQ+ community in its entirety with a focus go the black queer community in Atlanta, which is the home of Lil Nas X.
The summer of this previous year was filled with passion and riot as Black Lives Matter and the fight for equal rights continued to gain global traction. Amongst the many problems, black Trans women were being killed at an alarming rate which prompted attention and action to make it clear that ALL black lives matter. “The trans community, especially the Black trans community, is one of the most looked down upon groups in the entire world, and the least cared for,” Lil Nas X said on a Zoom called. Cowan added, “There’s been so many attacks on the trans community, even within the past few months, and it’s not publicized enough in the U.S. People forget that the entire Pride movement was started by Black trans women.” The collection was already underway when the pair decide to take real action against the rising problem: 100 percent of its proceeds will benefit Atlanta’s Black queer youth through a new fund set up with the Loveland Foundation.
The collection is based on charitable efforts to provide awareness, and aid, to a community that’s been overlooked for years. The actual fashions takes a glamorous play on a punk goth which the pair gained inspiration from style in the 1970s. “Both [queer and punk people] were often funneled into the same venues for their club nights, because they were the only venues that would take them,” Cowan said of the era, continuing, “In one club night, you would have, like, a cis white male punk with spiky hair, and then you’d also have trans and queer Black people in the same venue coexisting.” The collection will make its debut today during New York Fashion Week in true COVID-19 style by way of a virtual film. The campaign is fronted by a plethora of queer celebrity faces at the front-line of bringing about change to the culture wearing threads in which Lil Nas X says he himself, “would love to wear these pieces every day.”