The latest season of the hit series RuPaul’s Drag Race has been the greatest “extravaganza” we have seen so far- with more sparkle, drama and puns than you could shake a stick at (not to mention a casual appearance from Lady Gaga). But as with other reality television series today, the big question is: Where are they now? It’s all well and good to be put in the spotlight, but often stars slip away, never to be heard of again except for doing the odd appearance in nightclubs (or being a backup for Dragcon). However, it seems that some of the stars from Drag Race Season 9 have much bigger plans. These are not just charismatic queens who can perfectly contour their cheekbones or pull off a seamless lip sync performance- they are now entering the world of Fashion in a serious way.
We all remember Valentina- one of the most stunning girls to grace the stage of Drag Race. Winning this year’s Miss Congeniality title, Valentina was snapped up by the industry to model for Vogue Mexico and Mexican designer Benito Santos. She has even been requested to do make-up tutorials for Vogue.com, teaching us all how to highlight and blend to a tee. Since her elimination from the show in Episode 9, Valentina has gone from strength to strength, and still taking time to show off her beauty on Instagram with true Latina charm. Valentina is not the only one to be acknowledged by the fashion industry, with Miss Fierceness herself, Miss Shea Couleé, also modelling for editorials- giving us some Grace Jones realness and tribal-inspired looks.
And not to forget Sasha Velour, the crowned winner of this year’s season (and rightfully so). Formally known as Alexander Hedges Steinberg, Sasha is renowned for her fresh take on drag, treating her aesthetics and performance as art forms in themselves, conveying social and political messages through her dress. At the same time, she also experiments conceptually with the boundaries of gender… All in a day’s work for Miss Velour. As her sense of style has always been considered “high fashion”, it doesn’t seem surprising that she has been booked for fashion editorials, including Entertainment Weekly with Shea Couleé and Paper Magazine, amongst others. On top of all that, Sasha has also started up her own self-published magazine, aptly named Velour: The Drag Magazine with partner Johnny Velour. Not bad at all.
Throughout the eight years of Drag Race “herstory”, there have been the bold, brave and downright brash- but this year’s winner has proved to go above and beyond the expectations of what it means to be “in drag”. At this moment in time, America needs to encourage their country towards equality and freedom for their citizens, with icons such as Sasha Velour proudly waving the flag and being an inspirational ambassador for all of us. And if that means the world is sprinkled with extra glitter in the process, why not?