Christian Cowan’s latest project came to life on Thursday night in New York. The designer’s debut boutique, the newest addition to SoHo’s Wooster Street, is literally encouraging shoppers to think pink.
“I’ve always wanted a store since I grew up — it’s the fantasy,” Cowan told FN before the opening. “We’ve always been a brand that’s pretty much completely operated digitally, apart from our fashion show — so, I think this was the missing piece.”
The powder pink store features a bilevel structure with cotton candy-like carpeting — “maj,” according to Cowan — a Barbie-esque photo display and Smashbox makeup stations. Completing the environment is a lower level for Cowan’s collaborative projects and atelier. Lining the walls are racks packed with his sparkling and embellished garments. These concrete elements collectively create the store’s appeal, making Cowan feel “at home” within.
“People want to touch and feel stuff. No matter how digital stuff gets, you can never do that there,” Cowan says. “I want people to be able to come try things on, chat to me. The atelier is downstairs, the office is downstairs, if they want to speak to me I can come upstairs. That, you can’t do digitally.”
The designer even spoke about the model who removed her heels at his Fall 2022 fashion show — a moment that went viral and became the talk of Fashion Week. This wasn’t intentional, but the drama-loving Cowan revealed there was more to the moment than meets the eye.
“The model was telling me, ‘Oh no, I never wear high heels.’ She was new to the game, it was actually her first show. I was like, ‘Darling, if these shoes get uncomfortable, you can just take them off — but don’t just kick them off. Make it a glamorous moment, where you’re like, ‘Ah! These shoes!‘ and throw them away,'” Cowan remembers. “She did exactly that, which I loved, because I wanted the girls to be theater throughout the show — so anything they did had to match.”
Celebrating Cowan’s new chapter was a slew of Manhattan’s who’s-who. Influencers (Caroline Vazzana, Mandy Ansari, Achieng Agutu), models (Teddy Quinlivan, Tanner Reese) actors (Alexa Swinton, Heidi Gardner) and nightlife performers (Aquaria, CT Hedden) convened to sip cocktails, receive makeovers and dance to DJ Ty Sunderland. All gathered from their unwavering support for Cowan.
“We love Christian so much,” gushed Hedden from the atelier. “For him to always recognize the nightlife creatures, the clowns, the outcasts, [it’s] everything. I’m just so happy for him.”
“And Just Like That…” star Swinton attended the opening with her family. She even made the boutique’s first-ever purchases, 50% of which benefits CARE.org’s Ukraine relief efforts during its first week in business.
“It’s such a big deal. I love the location and actual store’s interior — I’m really into interior design. It’s basically just pink, and I love that,” shared Swinton. “It’s just so much fun — it’s so bright and so cool. It’s iconic.”
Cowan’s boutique debut is only the beginning. The designer is already planning a metaverse activation, as well as projects with Smashbox and other brands. In the meantime, he’s embracing his new SoHo digs — and their future.
And if those walls could talk?
“They would say that they don’t know me that well, because we haven’t been in here that long,” Cowan chuckles. “But hopefully, they’ll have a lot more stories in the coming years.”
Christan Cowan is now open at 76 Wooster Street. The store is open on Wednesday — Saturday from 11 a.m. — 7 p.m., Sunday from 11 p.m.-5 p.m. and closed Monday and Tuesday.
Discover Cowan’s Fall 2022 collection in the gallery.