For fan-favorite drag queen Eureka O’Hara, gay activism looks like towering headgear and a curvy body.
The alum from RuPaul’s Drag Race recently modeled its stunning ensemble on YouTube as part of a promotion with Barefoot Wine called “House of Barefoot”.
O’Hara and a few other queens took inspiration from Barefoot’s first Pride packaging and translated the rainbow-colored designs on wine bottles into runway-ready outfits.
The branded content stunt was designed to keep the Pride party past its usual June period and to celebrate some milestones in LGBTQ history – and to be sure to sell a barefoot booze that offsets a portion of its proceeds forwards the Pride packages to the non-profit group Free Mama hugs.
“I wanted it to look kind of warlike,” says O’Hara of her colorful outfit, which is said to proclaim pioneers like Marsha P. Johnson and other pioneers of the Stonewall era. (O’Hara went her own way with an Emmy nomination for the HBO series We Are Here, starring Bob, the drag queen, and Shangela Laquifa Wadley.)
The YouTube and streaming series Fashion Photo RuView recently revealed the wild “House of Barefoot” look, with hosts Raja and Raven only praising O’Hara and the proud clothes of Queen Manila Luzon – or “toots”.
Another round of content went live for National Coming Out Day (October 11). Drag queens and their “selected family” describe their coming-out trips.
The ongoing marketing alliance between Barefoot and RuPaul’s drag race producer World of Wonder is another step forward for drag. This art form was once considered sacrosanct by mainstream brands.
In fact, World of Wonder co-founders Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey have intensified their partnerships over the past 18 months by hiring a dedicated manager and doing business with Pepsi, Starbucks, Disney, Bud Light, Netflix and Wet N Wild Beauty, among others have made. The annual DragCon weekends in Los Angeles and New York have become sponsor bonances.
A celebration of expression
“It has taken a while, but brands are increasingly realizing that drag – a platform that celebrates self-expression and inspires people to feel confident – is a great way to really engage with audiences through fun and authentic messaging.” said Barbato and Bailey via email. “In the past you could have said that this audience has their finger on the pulse of the consumer, but increasingly they are on the cutting edge.”
According to Anna Bell, vice president of marketing, Barefoot executives wanted a partnership to “improve the stories behind each of the limited edition Pride designs” and “recognize the strength and resilience of the LGBTQ + community”.
The partners launched House of Barefoot to replace Pride events that were canceled across the country this summer due to the public health crisis of Covid-19. The same goes for DragCon.
“We wanted to create a fun, light-hearted piece of content to show that pride lives in us always and every day,” said Bell. “Pride can and will be celebrated no matter where we are or how we gather.”