SassySays.com - Drag History Month - January 12, 2012 - Amanda Lepore
Amanda Lepore is an American transgender model, musician, nightclub hostess, fashion icon, performance artist and New York City Icon. She has appeared in advertising for numerous companies, including M.A.C. cosmetics, Mego Jeans, The Blonds, Swatch, CAMP Cosmetics, and Heatherette, which has used her likeness on clothing as well as hiring her as a model. Lepore is also noted as a muse for photographer David LaChapelle’s work. She participated in his Artists and Prostitutes 1985-2005 exhibit in New York, where she “lived” in a voyeuristic life-sized set.
According to Michael Musto, Lepore grew up in the Essex County community of Cedar Grove, New Jersey. Lepore told a reporter “from day one she knew she was a girl,” and in her teens she began making costumes for a go-go dancer in exchange for hormones. She says her parents soon took her from public school and hired a private tutor, then took her to a psychologist who helped her get a hormone prescription. Lepore says she then got married and moved in with her in-laws, who assisted her with getting sex reassignment surgery. She says she left the marriage after several years and moved to New York City, where she worked in a nail salon and as a dominatrix before meeting Michael Alig and becoming a fixture on the New York nightlife scene. She soon met David LaChapelle and began collaborating with him.
Lepore has appeared in fashion magazines, including French Playboy, Ponytail, DAMn and TUSH. She is on the cover of Lords of Acid’s 1999 album Expand Your Head and on Thighpaulsandra’ 2006 album The Lepore Extrusion.
Lepore had a cameo in the 1998 documentary Party Monster: The Shockumentary as well as the 2003 film Party Monster. She was also featured in Another Gay Sequel in 2008. Lepore has also had cameos in music videos for artists including Elton John, Thalía, The Dandy Warhols, Girl in a Coma, Grace Jones, and TIGA for his cover of “Sunglasses at Night.”Lepore appears in many of Cazwell music videos, including “Watch my Mouth” and “All Over Your Face”.
In October 1999 Swatch released “Time Tranny”, a watch designed by LaChapelle with Lepore on the face displaying a printed crack on the glass and marble stripes as the background. A second version displays no cracked glass and a blue and yellow striped background.
Possessing the hourglass measurements of 39-23-37 and standing at 5’2, Amanda Lepore is very petite.
Her first single, “Deeper,” is a 2003 dance song written by Lady Bunny.
In 2005 Lepore released her first album, Introducing… Amanda Lepore, which contains “Champagne” and “My Hair Looks Fierce”.
In April 2006, Integrity Toys launched an Amanda Lepore doll produced by Jason Wu as a benefit for AIDS charities.
In 2007 she released two remix albums, Fierce Pussy and My Pussy E.P. Lepore also sings the main title for Another Gay Movie, “I Know What Boys Like”. She also performs “Cotton Candy”, from the soundtrack of Another Gay Sequel.
Lepore was a part of True Colors Tour 2007, a 15-city North American benefit tour sponsored by the Logo channel, hosted by comedian Margaret Cho and headlined by Cyndi Lauper. The tour benefited the Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG and the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and it included Erasure, Debbie Harry, The Gossip, Rufus Wainwright, The Dresden Dolls, The MisShapes, Rosie O’Donnell, Indigo Girls, The Cliks and other special guests.
Her second album I…Amanda Lepore was released in 2011.
Lepore has a line of cosmetics in partnership with CAMP Cosmetics called “Collection Lepore”, as well as a signature perfume.