Violet Chachki makes ‘herstory’ by becoming RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni to star in an international lingerie campaign

Violet Chachki, the winner of the 7th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, has become the first star from the show to front an international lingerie range. The “Never The Girl Next Door” campaign in the Bettie Page collection has just been launched by Playful Promises, and includes a beautiful range of vintage inspired lingerie pieces.

Chachki is the stage name used by Jason Dardo, an American drag queen, model, burlesque dancer and recording artist who has performed in drag since they were 19. Famously known for having a tiny waist (they can cinch to a miniscule 18 inches), while competing on the show Chachki was no stranger to modelling in underwear, and always carried themselves with a timeless elegance that makes them the perfect fit for the Bettie Page collection.

Violet Chachki on RuPaul, image: timeout

Although not the first drag queen to front a lingerie campaign (this honour goes to the Australian drag queen Marie Claire back in 2014), Chachki is the first drag queen to star in one on such an international scale and recognises what a huge honour this is. On their Instagram, they wrote “So excited to be the face of the new Bettie Page Lingerie collection! Bettie has always been a huge inspiration for me. I’m very happy to work for a company that values being inclusive and glamorous at the same time”, continuing to describe the new collection as “graphic, fun, and daring – everything I love about glamour and drag.”

On their Twitter account, Playful Promises have listed reasons why Chachki is the best person to front this line. They state that they “chose to use a non-binary model because the vintage/pinup community has certain issues with gender”, continuing that “A non-binary model raises questions about how we view pin-ups of the past, and how we talk about images of women today.”

Playful Promises also aims to challenge the idea that so many lingerie campaigns are created with the male gaze in mind and stated that they did so by “using a non-binary model who is not a cis woman, shot by a woman, wearing lingerie created by women”.

It seems only natural that Chachki has formed a partnership with Playful Promises as the range is named after Bettie Page, a 1950’s pin-up star who actually played a major role in creating Chachki’s drag character, something which is evident in their modelling of the underwear.

The 1950’s pin-up inspired campaign was shot by Anna Swiceniuk, and the collection provides a variation of pieces featuring bullet bras, garter belts, high-waisted underwear, robes and corsets in a mix of the trio of materials essential to underwear: lace, leopard print and satin.

Although there’s still a long way to go in creating an equal fashion industry that represents everyone, it is encouraging to see a brand like Playful Promises taking a step in the right direction by acknowledging that everybody deserves the right to beautiful underwear.

To shop the collection visit:

Polly Hatcher

Image: Anna Swiczeniuk/Playful Promises