The creative duo originally linked up last August, when Cowan dressed the artist in a custom, western-inspired sequin suit for the 2019 MTV VMAs. The dazzling getup set off a sartorial alarm that there was more genius in store, so they worked together again on Cowan's latest ready-to-wear offering, which will benefit Atlanta's Black queer community.
Cowan and Lil Nas X worked on the collection virtually, within a two-month period and shot the film that showcases the designs (which features several familiar fashion faces) over three days in three different cities: New York, London and Los Angeles. The cast consists of a diverse group of models, designers, singers and activists, who Cowan and Lil Nas X thoughtfully selected for their trailblazing work in "pushing queer representation in mainstream media."
Designer Marc Jacobs makes a cameo, as well as activists Jari Jones and Rachel Cargle and artists Ava Max and Chella Man. Olympian Gus Kenworthy also plays a role in the digital showcase, as does a long list of models including Aweng Chuol, AJ Harris, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Heidi Klum, Helena Christensen, Isis King, Parker Kit Hill, Trey Trey and Teddy Quinlivan.
The Spring 2021 collection is inspired by rebellious youth — specifically, the British punk movement of the '70s. Cowan's over-the-top glamour is present in bow-bedecked and feather-accented dresses, along with Swarovski crystal-encrusted creations. Playful patterns, like checks and polka dots, are also used throughout the range.
The unisex ensembles will be exclusively sold on FWRD.com. There's also merch from the collection, which will be available on the designer's website. Proceeds from products purchased on Cowan's e-commerce will go to a new fund for Black queer youth at the Loveland Foundation, an organization that provides financial assistance to Black women seeking therapy.
"Supporting the queer community is so important to me, but as a small brand, we don't normally have the ability to donate a lump sum of money like this," Cowan said, in a statement. "Nas and I both saw the opportunity do something incredible together, especially as personal fans of the work Rachel Cargle does with the Loveland Foundation, it felt like a natural partnership."
See the full Christian Cowan Spring 2021 collection, below.