Designer Christian Cowan on bringing Teletubbies into high fashion

Fashion designer Christian Cowan discusses design, creativity and the nostalgic pull of Teletubbies.

Christian, it’s great to connect. Before we dive into your exciting Teletubbies launch, how did you find your way into fashion design? What set you on this path?
I was inspired to get into fashion growing up with a strong mother figure in my household. I then went on to study fashion in London and worked with some incredible performers from a young age. That inspired me to move to New York to really build my brand.

“The fonts used in the collection were actually the characters’ handwriting.”

How would you describe your approach to design?
I am inspired by strong women, people around me that pave the way for change and icons of pop culture throughout various decades.

Speaking of pop culture icons, let’s talk Teletubbies! Did you already have a connection to the brand in any way prior to this partnership? Were you a fan?
I’ve been a fan of the Teletubbies since I was a child, so getting to work with them as an adult has been the perfect nostalgic partnership. I think a lot of the fans resonate with that nostalgia too! Tinky Winky actually came to visit me at my show during New York Fashion week in 2021 and we’ve all been great friends ever since!

Christian Cowan

Good to know – I might send you some questions to pass on! Now, there’s lots of strings you could pull on when it comes to designing a Teletubbies collection… The shapes, the colours, the characters, the Nineties – which brand elements jumped out as being key to your collection?
I think the main concept I ideated with around the collaboration was celebrating the Teletubbies’ personalities and also bringing them into a high-fashion space, hence the Nineties-style supermodel photoshoot!

Christian Cowan

From the fonts to the imagery, it’s a striking collection. How did you ensure these designs feel very on brand for you, as well as for Teletubbies? 
The fonts used were actually the characters’ handwriting. Iconic shows like the Teletubbies come with an archival catalogue as such, so it was fun to be able to pull from that and include those graphic signatures. Layered over the imagery, I think it made the whole design feel balanced between high-fashion and wearable pieces.

Christian Cowan

Absolutely. I have one last question – what fuels your creativity?
I’m very much inspired by icons that have an influence on pop culture.

Christian, congrats on your Teletubbies range and thanks again for taking time out for a chat.

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