British designer Christian Cowan and American rapper Lil Nas X collaborated to create a collection whose benefits will support the Black LGBTQ+ community in Atlanta.
“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 told Vogue.
“There’s been so many attacks on the trans community, even within the past few months, and it’s not publicized enough in the US,” Cowan added during their interview. “People forget that the entire Pride movement was started by Black trans women.”
The collection was unveiled in a video format on the last day of New York Fashion Week. The film features a cast of celebrities, models, pop stars, drag queens, and nightlife legends, including Heidi Klum, Marc Jacobs, Ava Max, Violet Chachki, Aweng Chuol, Teddy Quinlivan, Amanda Lepore, AJ Harris, Chella Man, Drebae, Helena Christensen and Susanne Bartsch.
The unisex collection is an inspiration from the British punk aesthetics of the '70s."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. 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," Cowan explains.
The clothes feature checkerboard prints, feathers, graffiti-like inscriptions, vinyl, satin, iridescent, glitter, and crystals. While a few pieces come in black, including long evening dresses, most clothes have flashy colors with an emphasis on yellow, pink, red, and purple. For several pieces, Cowan partnered with Swarovski, using over 400k crystals. The items are also non-binary, meaning they aren’t created for any specific gender.
“[Christian’s] looks are so in between the sexes; I like how he’s so free with it,” Lil Nas said of Cowan’s design style.
The funds raised from the duo’s collaborative unisex collection will benefit Black queer youth in Lil Nas X’s hometown of Atlanta via the Loveland Foundation, a nonprofit founded by activist Rachel Cargle.
“Nas and I both saw the opportunity do something incredible together,” Cowan said in a statement. “Especially as personal fans of the work Rachel Cargle does with the Loveland Foundation, it felt like a natural partnership.”
The collection will be available to shop next spring exclusively on FWRD.com