Is Christian Cowan actually Professor Utonium, the father figure in the Powerpuff Girls, who mixed together sugar and spice and everything nice before accidentally dropping Chemical X into the mix? They’ve never been seen in the same room, so we may never know. What we do know is that the celebrity-favorite designer’s capsule collaboration with the Cartoon Network series was full of girl power moments.
Debuting in a warehouse space in Downtown Los Angeles on International Woman’s Day, Cowan’s collection featured his signature sparkly, poofy, and streamlined features done in Powerpuff pink (Blossom, the leader), green (Buttercup, the irritable one), and blue (Bubbles, the cute one). It was all capped off by Paris Hilton, who walked with her micro-Chihuahua, Diamond Baby, while wearing an outfit inspired by Him, the Powerpuff Girls’ genderfucking foe.
The show, which was attended by Cowan’s power girl friends like Tinashe, Carly Rae Jepson, and Kim Petras, was in support of She’s the First, a non-profit that fights gender inequality through education, providing scholarships to girls around the world. We caught up with Cowan, known for consistently speaking about women’s empowerment and who’s proud mother is always in attendance, backstage after the show.
MAXWELL WILLIAMS: I imagine you’re a Bubbles.
CHRISTIAN COWAN: Oh, I am a Bubbles. But I feel like the characters are all one person—the different facets of a person. So I would say I’m definitely Buttercup when I’m hungry. I’m a bit more grumpy. But I’m Bubbles.
MW: What about from the villains?
CC: Oh, Him. I live for Him—the heels and those skirts.
MW: Of course. You had so many pieces that were inspired by Him.
CC: Oh, for sure. It’s all for Him.
MW: You’ve always been about women’s empowerment, and one of the shirts even said, ‘Empowerpuff Girls.’ Is that a big reason why you partnered with them?
CC: Their brand and my brand stand for exactly the same thing. And it was so nice. There was never one point in the months and months of conversations where we disagreed on the messaging of this show, or partnering with She’s the First, the charity, which helps educate women so they can support themselves. The whole thing’s been such a dream because there’ve been great intentions every step of the way.
MW: When did you decide, ‘We have to do it on International Women’s Day’?
CC: We first spoke three years ago, when I first moved to America. The second we met for this project, it was the first thing we said: ‘When should we do it?’ And were both like, ‘International Women’s Day.’ Perfect.
MW: Why do it in L.A.?
CC: Because a lot of my career has been built in L.A. through the amazing women here—all the different singers and so on—so it made sense.
MW: Why was it important to have Paris Hilton in the show, dressed as Him?
CC: Paris was one of the first people, when I moved to America, who supported me. She was in my first ever show, she put the spotlight on me, and she’s turned up for charity shows that I’ve done for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She’s incredible.
MW: If you were a Powerpuff Girl, what would your superpower be?
CC: Oh my. I wish my superpower could be I didn’t have to sleep, so I could just work.