If the name of Christian Cowan doesn’t ring a bell, then you would have seen his overzealous, avant-garde garments on the backs of Cardi B, Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez – just to name a few. Having graduated from Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion in 2016, Cowan is only young, but perhaps his youthful perspective is the very fresh breath of air fashion has been needed.
With sights set on menswear in the future, “It’s definitely something on my radar”, Cowan believes his experience has shaped his aesthetic into “strong assertive extravagance”. His runway collections are the very definition of ‘glam’ and in his most recent endeavour, the eponymous designer has applied his flashy aesthetic onto Le Specs sunglasses. Drawing inspiration from his Spanish heritage combined with sporty style, the dynamic collaborative duo have dropped a debut eyewear collection, full of high-wattage designs with Cowan’s trademark glam in every aspect.
In the lead up, ICON caught up with the creative to speak on growing up, dressing the biggest names in entertainment and what’s next.
ICON: How are you staying inspired and creative during this lockdown period? What does a normal day in isolation look like for you?
Christian Cowan: “At the beginning of lockdown I decided I was going to do all the things I never have time to do. So I went to my parents just before it all began. It’s been a lot of family time, a lot of exercise, a lot of yoga, a lot of chocolate and a lot of blue sky thinking. I’m also currently raising tadpoles – lol.”
What were the highlights from designing your first line of eyewear with Le Specs?
CC: “To be honest, the whole process was a highlight. But the most exciting moment was definitely receiving the final prototypes. Everyone in the office was trying them on and feeling the fantasy, it was cute.
“The idea was Instagram glam girls meets dad’s practical water sports sunglasses. I wanted that sporty vibe but totally post worthy.”
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@christiancowan x @lespecs is available in the bio and it’s iconic. I thought I’d do a little unboxing & run you through the 12 styles. We couldn’t be more excited to release eyewear for the first time and are honored to do so with Le Specs. All 12 styles will be available globally tomorrow. Enjoy and ignore my creased shirt. 💖 🕶 ⚡️ #christiancowanxlespecs #lespecs
How would you describe the ‘Christian Cowan’ guy or girl?
CC: “They want to be seen, they love a compliment, they love having making moments special.”
You’ve dressed some of the most affluent artists in the music industry. What has been one of the biggest lessons from these experiences?
CC: “I’ve learnt to listen, what’s comfortable, what works, what doesn’t. It sounds simple, but it really does take time.”
“I’ve also learnt the value of stretch fabric and a zip!”
How has your design style changed since the beginning of your namesake brand?
CC: “It’s grown up as I have, there was definitely a naive optimism in my early work. Now it’s a strong assertive extravagance.”
Did you ever think you’d grow a fanbase like you have?
CC: “No lol, I was always the goofy art kid. I love that people have supported my work, it means the world, but I’m still not used to being asked for a picture.”
You worked on a custom suit with Lil Nas X for the VMAS. Can we expect you to move into more menswear in the future?
CC: “Yes totally, we had so much fun in that moment. It’s definitely something on my radar.”