Brand campaigns are steadily becoming more and more diverse, with companies embracing people of different body types and ages as their newest faces. Now, Playful Promises, a London-based lingerie brand, is taking things one step farther, making history by tapping season seven winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Violet Chachki, to front its latest ads, making her the very first drag queen to ever head up a lingerie spot.
As the reality contestant told Refinery29, her historical gig is certainly a step in the right direction toward acceptance and diversity, but it’s up to the industry to keep these opportunities coming. “It depends on the brand or designer, really, and what their personal beliefs are on these things,” she said. “But the fashion industry, especially in New York, is very much so an industry. I feel like queens play a role in the creative aspect, but now, we’re also selling products because of social media and Drag Race.”
Still, Chachki admits it might not work to include gender-nonconforming people in every type of campaign. “It definitely is a risk to include any gender-nonconforming person in a campaign, a show, or whatever it might be… because it “has to be on-brand for [the company,” she says, adding that it’s interesting to see “where we fit in.”
Not all fashion and beauty fits within the realm of drag, either: Minimalist makeup, for instance, might look great out in the everyday world, but as Chachki explains, it’s just not drag. “I think a lot of what drag celebrates is the opposite of that. We have a lot of cisgendered female fans and I think the inauthenticity and the hyper-femininity is part of why it’s so celebrated… I think for people like that it’s too much makeup; it’s over the top — and I think that’s what’s so great about drag and what draws people to it.”
In fact, she says the drag community has a “Fashion industry of its own — drag designers and the fashion subculture within a subculture.”
The Playful Promises collab, however, which ranges in price from $13 to $98 and features everything from thigh-high stockings to boudoir robes, managed to find a sweet spot that combines both worlds perfectly.
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(Photos via Playful Promises + Santiago Felipe/Getty)