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From The Rodeo, To The Freak Show: Lil' Nas X’s New Look

We haven’t heard much from Lil’ Nas X since his meteoric rise to superstardom in 2019. With the success of his hit Old Town Road, Nas went from being just an average 20 year-old trying to figure things out, to a Grammy award winning artist. That same year Nas became somewhat of an icon, when he fearlessly came out as gay at the height of his success. The wait is over, Lil’ Nas X is back in the spotlight this week and he’s sporting a brand new look. Apparently Nas has ditched the cowboy hat in favor of a punk rock Mohawk. Luckily for his fans, Nas is switching up his drip for a good cause.

Lil’ Nas is teaming up with esteemed fashion designer Christian Cowan for his Spring 2021 campaign. The dynamic duo first worked together on Lil’ Nas X 2019 Video Music Awards look, where he paid homage to the late Prince. All proceeds from this collection will benefit Black queer youth in Atalanta through the Loveland Foundation. Loveland Foundation was founded by Rachel Cargle two years ago and provides therapy aid for Black women. Collaborating on a campaign that directly benefited the Black LGBTQ+ community was a conscious decision from both the artist and designer. They told Vogue Magazine that the Black Lives Matter protests and pride month 2020 inspired the decision to give back.

Initially the campaign was going to focus solely on Black trans women, a marginalized group that they both feel goes unheard. Nas explained to Vogue, “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.” Nas is absolutely right when he emphasizes Black trans women, this year has seen some of the most vile and disgusting acts of violence carried out on Black trans women. Look no further than the heinous assault of Iyanna Dior in early June, a Black trans woman in Minnesota who was beaten nearly to death by a group of men. Between June 25th and July 3rd, six Black trans women were found dead. Somewhere along the line a decision was made to focus on Black LGBTQ+ more broadly.

When asked about the nod to the 70s punk rock aesthetic, Cowan spoke to the history of the unique relationship between LGBTQ+ and punk culture. Cowan explained, “Both were often funneled into the same venues for their club nights, because they were the only venues that would take them,” says Cowan of the decade. “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 and Lil' Nas X hit up some famous LGBTQ faces to rock the exciting looks from this collection. Icons like Amanda Lenore, Isis King and Marc Jacobs can all be seen in the promotional images for the line.

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