The drag star talked to ET about being the first drag queen to model for a lingerie campaign and paying homage to her idol Bettie Page.
Violet Chachki, drag star and winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season seven, made history as the first drag queen to model in a women’s lingerie campaign. Chachki is the featured model for the “Never the Girl Next Door” campaign for Bettie Page Lingerie, a line by the London-based lingerie brand Playful Promises.
In an exclusive interview with ET, Chachki said that it felt “amazing” getting to model for this campaign. “I would have never imagined, when I first started performing as a drag queen, that this would ever happen. It’s surreal.”
The lingerie found in the new collection is vintage in style, featuring such items like structured corselettes, spiral stitched bullet bras, high-waisted briefs and satin robes. “It’s very graphic and playful,” Chachki said. “That’s what I really love about glamour and drag; it’s about celebrating femininity and fun, while being really provocative.”
When Chachki started her drag career at age 19 in Atlanta, Georgia, she said one of the inspirations for her character was Bettie Page, the world-famous 1950s pin-up and fetish model. "Visually, she is iconic," Chachki said. "She almost looks like a drawing, and I think that's what drew me in. I wanted to look mysterious and like a femme fatale, and like a drawing."
Now, she says modeling a line of lingerie inspired by Page feels “very full circle.”
The drag star identifies as gender fluid, which she describes as "floating between" genders. She said that she often forgets that the concept of gender fluidity is not one that is necessarily accepted within mainstream society. "In the world that I live in, it's a very normal concept," she said. "I forget that you have to step into reality, and that it is very much still a struggle and a fight for a lot of people."
With this campaign, Chachki said that she wants to bring more awareness to the subject. "Visibility is the most important tool that we can use," she said. "This is a step in the right direction and I think it gets better every single day."
In a statement to ET, Playful Promises founder Emma Parker said that the line aims to explore as many viewpoints as possible. "We try to keep our brands as diverse as possible, working with women of different ethnicities, shapes, sizes and ages, so it seemed a logical step to also explore gender," she said.
The "Never the Girl Next Door" collection is now available at BettiePageLingerie.com.