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Miss Fame on the Launch of Her Beauty Brand and the ‘Mainstreaming’ of Drag

Miss Fame Beauty launched at RuPaul's Drag Con in New York.

Miss Fame is translating her fashion fetish to beauty.

The drag artist, née Kurtis Dam-Mikkelsen, launched an eponymous beauty label on Sept. 28 during RuPaul’s Drag Con, an annual drag convention held at the Javits Center in New York. The debut line, called The Fetish of Fashion, consists of five cruelty free LipVoyeur Crème lipsticks, $19, and a translucent Experimental Glitter, $15. The products are sold via the Miss Fame Beauty web site, which she set up with the help of designer Jason Wu.

“I’m known for features, I’m known for the face,” said Miss Fame. “When I do a look, [lips are] always that last detail and people always remember the last few seconds of what was happening. They’re not all gonna wear a wig, but they will probably wear a lip. That’s what led me into choosing the lip as the focus.”

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Miss Fame on Launch of Beauty Brand and the 'Mainstreaming' of Drag
Miss Fame Beauty’s LipVoyeur Crème lipstick, $19. Jayme Thornton

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Miss Fame shot to celebrity after her time on the seventh season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” She is signed to Wilhelmina Models in New York and IMG Models in Paris, and has worked with Marc Jacobs Beauty, Ole Henriksen, Sleek Makeup and L’Oréal Paris, for which she walked the 2016 Cannes Film Festival red carpet.

A former makeup artist, Miss Fame has worked under Pat McGrath and is a regular fashion week attendee. During New York Fashion Week, she performed at the Opening Ceremony show with fellow drag queens Sasha Velour, Shea Coulée, Jiggly Caliente, West Dakota, Hungry and Lypsinka.

“Now I can say what it’s like to be on both sides of the coin — to be a collaborator and model for [a brand] and now be the face of my own company,” she said. “Jeffree Star [of Jeffree Star Cosmetics] is a huge self-made artist. He’s an example of how to do things right. He’s provocative, he’s produced quality product. For me, I’m focusing on the artistry. I feel that if you make sure to get your product out and people see them, it will organically start to generate interest. I’m a little self-made machine over here.”

The launch of Miss Fame Beauty comes at a time when drag is thought of as mainstream. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is widely credited with the popularization of the subculture, which over the past year has cropped up in a few Netflix series, the FX show “Pose” and, most recently, “A Star Is Born,” in which Lady Gaga performs during a drag show.

Notable drag queens in the beauty space are Trixie Mattel and Kim Chi, both from “RuPaul’s” — seasons seven and eight, respectively. Both have collaborated with beauty brand SugarPill.

Miss Fame on Launch of Beauty Brand and the 'Mainstreaming' of Drag
Miss Fame launches eponymous beauty brand. Armin Morbach

Asked for her thoughts on the mainstreaming of drag, Miss Fame said she doesn’t necessarily consider it to be mainstream — yet.

“It becomes mainstream if we can all afford to buy houses and live our lives without the fear of financial insecurity,” she said. “We make a lot of money after we leave ‘Drag Race’ because our booking fee is now high, but it will go down quickly because we’re on a turnaround show that has a new season twice a year.

“We’re in a time when drag and gender fluidity, gender non-conforming titles are a part of the trend of fashion,” she continued. “Anyone being utilized because of the cool factor of drag needs to be getting paid like any other working model. Getting into drag is not just for fun. It’s literally three hours of doing makeup, corsets, tucking, high heels, wigs and face tapes, and hours of performing and being on and putting on that voice and that energy. It must equate financially in compensation because it’s a job. We’re past the point of saying, ‘we want them here because it looks good for the brand.’ We should be at a point where they go, ‘we want you here, this is your rate, are you OK with that?’ Queer talent needs to be compensated for their attention toward branding and leverage.”

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