Feminist Cowboy

by Emily Wells

"Can't be explained. Can only be felt."
The original Feminist Cowboy (and the creator of those cream cashmere sweaters you've been seeing all over L.A.) doesn't do interviews. He tells me so himself, as we walk down Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, on the hunt for the best negroni in the city.

This makes sense, given the anonymity and ambiguity of the brand. There's been much speculation about these sweaters  — what does "feminist cowboy" mean? Are cowboys even a thing anymore? Who makes the sweaters? Where? Are their photos objectifying? Are they objectifying men specifically? Is that better? Perhaps too much explanation might soil the sweaters. They seem quite comfortable perched above comprehension, relishing in their own inconclusiveness.

While Feminist Cowboy's Instagram page says the sweaters "Can't be explained. Can only be felt," I asked some of the line's enthusiasts to give Flaunt their best explanation of the elusive sweater:

"Feminist Cowboy is about contradiction, it's about making something belong where is shouldn't. It's confusing, and that's not a bad thing."

"I met the Feminist Cowboy at a shop on Abbot Kinney. He was wearing The Sweater. I knew I needed one. I asked how to get it and he brought me to the compound to pick one up.  He invited me in for a glass of wine and brought out my sweater. I left wearing it, and suddenly I felt as if I was finally 'me' after all of these years - a woman and a man in one and a person who could give no fucks. I think at first it does take guts to wear it, because it's provocative and can solicit unsolicited attention. People either love it or ask 'what does it mean?' Really?"

"Everyone should embrace contradictions, but at the same time they shouldn't, so this sweater is perfect because it's accurate, and also it isn't, because what I really wanted was a sweater that said the exact opposite (MISOGYNIST FAGGOT?), but I couldn't find one, so I settled for this, and everything I'm saying is false, of course, especially the parts that are true."  

"It alludes to the idea that men can be feminists.  Cowboys are often portrayed as loners or men who work primarily amongst other men. Similarly, feminists are also seen as women who work primarily with other women  — not necessarily loners, but there is a strong independence associated with being a feminist. The two identifiers combined  confuse and invigorate thought. When you look at the product, the cream colored cashmere unisex sweater, so soft and tactile it adds another layer of intrigue into the brand. When you put on a Feminist Cowboy sweater, your life might change in a very significant way. You might find yourself feeling like Lady Godiva."

"When I get comments like 'nice one' or 'love your sweater,' I often wonder if they are congratulating me for thinking I am one, or if they think they are a feminist cowboy. I am still wondering what it actually means. Can anyone be a feminist cowboy?"

"There is nothing more chic than a beautiful cashmere sweater — except a beautiful cashmere sweater with a message of equality with general badassery."

Those wishing to obtain their own sweater can do so by sending an email inquiry to feministcowboy@gmail.com.

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