• Fashion

Asia Hall’s Shining Light in Fashion Tech

Kylie Jenner with twins Simi and Haze

The biggest stars in entertainment are shining in a new way thanks to innovations in “fashion tech.” Selena Gomez, Beyoncé, and Bella Thorne are among the many who have added this marriage of engineering and couture to their wardrobes, most notably the vibrantly glowing apparel cowboy hats from Neon Cowboys. 


Raffi Boghosian

Bella and Dani Thorne

“Fashion tech is how we can integrate technology into fashion and garments. For us, it is lights and how we can bring lights into apparel,” says Asia Hall, founder and CEO of Neon Cowboys. “If you were to look at a neon bar sign with a cowboy hat in it, you should be able to wear that hat.”


Daughter of fashion designer Kevan Hall, Asia Hall came up with the idea for Neon Cowboys while at Stagecoach country music festival when the sun went down and the crowd needed something lively for the headlining performances. Coming a long way from the prototypes created in 2014, her company’s “party hats” are at the forefront of the burgeoning fashion tech industry with appearances in commercials, music videos, and even on HBO’s reality competition show, Legendary.


A black woman-owned business, Neon Cowboys apparel is proving popular for performances, showing up in music videos for Megan Thee Stallion’s “Hot Girl Summer”, Orville Peck and Shania Twain’s “Legends Never Die”,  and worn by Missy Elliott at Essence Fest 2019. 


“It’s really exciting to see the celebrities wear our products mainly because they are huge fans of the brand and what we are creating. We’ve worked with a lot of names in the music industry and the fashion industry. In the earlier days, we mostly didn’t know when people would be wearing it,” Hall says, “Like Dua Lipa. We had no idea she had a hat… But now we’ve been working with celebrities more with custom apparel.” In 2020, Neon Cowboys partnered with Kacey Musgraves to create a special Kacey Musgraves Neon Cowboys hat sold on the artist’s website during the holidays.

Kacey Musgraves

Neon Cowboys started making light-up face masks for the pandemic as flaunted during Doja Cat’s VMA 2020 performance. They also are working on street fashion pieces outside of traditional western wear that incorporate lights and technology. One such project in the works, a silhouette dress draped in optical fibers that change colors, is the type you would expect to see at a Red Carpet premiere or in a cyberpunk film.  

“We started doing a lot more products expanding into an entire line of fashion tech. Now we offer anything from dresses to jackets and shoes,” Hall says. “As a brand, we’re trying to push the idea of being the pioneers in the space, so it does not necessarily have to have a western feel.” 

When creating new apparel, Hall starts with the lighting effects and then decides on what material will be best for displaying the lights. Her designs use utility patented lighting to create the neon glow of their vibrantly colored hats, boots, dresses, shirts, and accessories. For the iconic hats, they use ten feet of light-up wire and a battery converter stored inside the hat for power, giving the beloved cowboy hat a futuristic makeover. 

“We use everything from LEDs to fiber optics to electroluminescent wire. It depends on what we want it to look like as the end result,” Hall said. 


After introducing the world to something new and glowing, things have come full circle for Hall. She will be returning to Stagecoach at the end of this April, this time as a sponsor. Neon Cowboys will be ensuring performers and festival-goers will see glowing hats and boots once the sun goes down. 


“When I first wore [the hat], it was so intense because people had never seen one before. The crowd was asking,  ‘How do I buy it? Where do I get one?’ It is one of those things that helps you lose your inhibitions and just have a good time,” Hall said.


At the end of April, Hall looks to lighten up the Indio, California night sky by sharing her flashy fashion tech and inspiring others to follow their dreams and pursue their creative passions.