The ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ winner talks the importance of her new pinup-inspired ad campaign.
In a year when gender norms are (finally) being challenged more than ever, Violet Chachki just made a huge stride by becoming the first drag queen to land a major lingerie campaign.
Chachki, who won the seventh season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, faces a Bettie Page-inspired lingerie campaign for London brand, Playful Promises. In the series of photos, she models a range of vintage, pin-up-esque pieces from bustier bras to high-waisted underwear, corsets, and garter belts.
Channeling Bettie Page for the barrier-breaking campaign was especially fitting for Chachki, as the ’50s pin-up model is a big part of her drag persona, “Bettie Page has been a big inspiration for my drag character for a long time, so it’s kind of full circle for me. I reference her a lot in my work so it was kind of the perfect pairing for me and a dream job,” Chachki told BAZAAR.com.
But along with the dream role as Page, what’s even more monumental is being able to represent drag queens in a space that has been reserved exclusively for cis women. “It’s so gratifying to be accepted into a world that I never thought a drag queen would be accepted into,” Chachki said of breaking into the lingerie industry.
The mainstream fashion industry still has a lot of work to do in continuing to challenge gender norms, but Chachki is hopeful that progress will continue to be made. As for what she thinks the industry needs to do in order to be better: “More visibility and variety. There’s so many different identities out there and I think they all deserve some visibility. Showing variety in representation in casting is super important, it gives minorities a platform and I think it definitely creates a safe space for conversation and progress.”
“It’s about taking risks. I mean, casting gender non-conforming people in campaigns and editorials and on covers of magazines is a risk for any business because there’s going to be controversy, but I think they need to take the risk and believe they’re moving in the right direction,” Chacki added, calling out brands’ and magazines’ roles in promoting inclusivity and diversity.
The Bettie Page lingerie collection modeled by Chachki is available to shop now at playfulpromises.com.