practically hear the collective gasp at the August 4 launch
of the RuPaul Doll collection at the Arcadia Gallery
in New York when singer-actor RuPaul
arrived--out of drag. There he was, further branding
his RuPaul personality with a celebrity doll line, and he
showed up not as the flamboyant RuPaul but as RuPaul
Andre Charles, the man under the makeup and hair.
While many were saddened that RuPaul left the heels at
home that night, one could not help but smile (and giggle)
at the larger-than-life photographs (taken by Mike
Ruiz) on the gallery walls. They depicted the RuPaul
dolls in various acts of devilish fun. For those
desiring the real thing, the three dolls in the RuPaul
collection (each one represents a different stage in
the artist's colorful career) also were on display.
Billed as the
first transvestite fashion doll and produced by Integrity
Toys, the RuPaul Doll collection will be in stores later
this month. Each doll has a suggested retail price of
$59.99. The RuPaul Doll collection was the brainchild
of RuPaul and nontraditional marketing/consulting
company Two Sheps That Pass. TSTP president Vera Sheps says
initial inspiration came from the Cher celebrity doll.
"We thought that a doll along (those lines) would be
Integrity creative director/partner Jason Wu followed. The
RuPaul Doll is the first venture under Integrity's new
Produced by Jason Wu division. For the first project
under the new umbrella, Wu wanted a celebrity who was
instantly recognizable yet not overexposed. He also did
not want to follow the current teen-pop-star or
reality-show-personality trend. In other words, he
sought a strong image that was capable of shaking
things up. Mission accomplished. Expect the branding of
RuPaul to continue. According to Sheps, RuPaul
greeting cards, wrapping paper, and gift bags are on
the way. (Michael Paoletta, via Reuters)
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