To those close to me, cowboys and Westerns were probably among some of the last things expected as sources of inspiration for my artwork and designs as I started my brand. This was well before the force of the Western "trend" hit, a la Coachella 2019, so the idea of a rainbow haired artist suddenly donning cowboy boots didn't mesh quite right yet. Some, like my sister, were downright skeptical as I tried to explain what my idea and general mood that I was trying to capture was.
To be fair, I wasn't quite sure myself how to put it in words. There just was an aura about how the idea itself made me feel. So I *stuck to my guns* and carried on creating the artwork that would end up in the SPACE COWBOY and GUNSLINGER designs. It was right around when the artwork was finished, in September 2018, that indie-rocker Mitski gave an interview with Trevor Noah that suddenly expressed exactly what I had been grappling to turn into words. She too had found inspiration from the Wild West for her new album, titled Be the Cowboy. To her, it was all about the myth of the cowboy, the iconic Marlborough Man or Clint Eastwood character. She explained "There is such an arrogance and a freedom to it that is so appealing to me... the idea of the cowboy is so American because the idea of a man riding into town, wrecking shit, and then walking out like he's the hero, it's just so..."
She managed to put into words exactly what I had been feeling all along. What I was capturing was how the idea of being a cowboy was to me- it was freedom, it was raw strength, it was not asking for permission, and simply doing what you felt you were meant to do. The ideology of the Cowboy is an anti-thesis to being ladylike, the opposite of what society tries to teach girls on how to be women.
As someone who believes in the idea of fashion going beyond just the clothes we wear, this made sense too. What makes fashion so important it's reflection of our culture and society. In a climate of heightened awareness of the difficulties women still face (from the #metoo movement and the systematic abuse it unveiled, to women's rights being under constant political attack, to the gender pay gap) it feels even more appropriate to counter those struggles with an ideal previously only promoted to men. Now it is our turn to embrace and claim the persona and it's power. The Cowboy is a reflection of our determination to stand up to our struggles. It is the embodiment of being unapologetic for your existence. It is facing the artificial limits and fears of failure we have placed on ourselves, and plowing right through them to meet our full potential. The Cowboy wouldn't have these doubts, why should you? Anything that makes you feel the spirit of the Cowboy, makes you more likely to act like one (and looking pretty damn good while you are at it is just the cherry on top when it comes to leggings!) So go ahead, ride on in, wreck some shit, and still be the hero. The world needs all the cowboys it can get right now.