Amanda Lepore

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Amanda Lepore
Amanda-Lepore-wearing-a-Gabriel-Moginot-haute-couture-corset.jpg
Born Cedar Grove, New Jersey
Ethnicity Italian American, German American
Occupation Nightlife Icon, Model, Recording Artist, Entertainer
Years active 1990- present
Modeling information
Height 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Hair color Platinum Blonde
Eye color Brown
Measurements 38-22-38

Amanda Lepore (born Armand Lepore) is an American model, nightlife and fashion icon, performance artist, recording artist and transgender public figure. 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 regular subject in photographer David LaChapelle's work, serving as his muse, as well as many other photographers, such as Terry Richardson. She participated in LaChapelle's Artists and Prostitutes 1985-2005 exhibit in New York, where she "lived" in a voyeuristic life-sized set.[1][2] Amanda Lepore has also released several singles, many written by and/or recorded with Cazwell. In 2011 she released her full-length debut album I...Amanda Lepore on Peace Bisquit.

Early life[edit]

Lepore was born Armand Lepore,[3] and grew up in the Essex County community of Cedar Grove, New Jersey.[4][5] Her father was an Italian-American chemical engineer, and her mother was a German-American housewife who was schizophrenic and spent much time in mental institutions.[6][7] She has one sibling, an elder brother.

Lepore later wrote that "Ever since I can first remember, I knew I was a girl. I couldn't understand why my parents were dressing me up in boys clothing. I thought they were insane."[7] In her early teens she began making costumes for a transgender friend in exchange for hormones.[3] Already isolated from her peers, her parents soon withdrew her from public school and hired a private tutor, then took her to a psychologist who helped her obtain a hormone prescription to properly transition.[8]

At the age of 17, and through a legal loophole, Lepore both married a bookstore owner and was granted sex reassignment surgery.[8][9] Lepore underwent the surgery at the age of 19 in Yonkers, New York.[9] Lepore later left her husband and relocated to New York City in 1989. In the early 1990s, as she established her career as a nightlife figure, Lepore spent her days working in a nail salon, as a dominatrix,[8] and later as a cosmetics salesgirl for Patricia Field. After meeting David LaChapelle one evening while hosting at Bowery Bar, she began collaborating with him and ultimately achieved international acclaim as his muse.[8]

Modeling and acting[edit]

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's 2006 album The Lepore Extrusion.

Lepore had a cameo in the 1998 documentary Party Monster: The Shockumentary and the 2003 film Party Monster. She can also be seen briefly in the 2001 fashion spoof comedy Zoolander and was featured in Another Gay Sequel in 2008 and the 2004 documentary Dig!. Lepore will be featured in the upcoming film The Zanctuary. Lepore has also had cameos in music videos for artists including Elton John, Thalía, The Dandy Warhols, Girl in a Coma,[10] Grace Jones, Keanan Duffty, TIGA for his cover of "Sunglasses at Night," and the video for "Days" by the alt rock band The Drums.[11] Lepore appears in many of Cazwell's music videos, including "Watch my Mouth"[12] and "All Over Your Face".[13]

She was Chief of Parade at the 2010 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.[3]

Music[edit]

Her first single, "Deeper," is a 2003 trance dance song written by Wigstock drag queen Lady Bunny.[14]

In 2005 Lepore released her first album, Introducing... Amanda Lepore, which contains "Champagne" and "My Hair Looks Fierce". 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.[15]

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.[16] 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. In 2009, Lepore performed at the Majestic Theatre during Metro Pride Fest in Detroit with The Divas of the Majestic: A Divine Lites Productions and Founder, Electra Lites.[17] In June 2011 she debuted her album I...Amanda Lepore at the Highline Ballroom with Cazwell, Kat Deluna, Neon Hitch, Ana Matronic, Jonté and many others.

Her debut full-length album I...Amanda Lepore was released in 2011 on Peace Bisquit.[18]

Merchandise[edit]

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.[19] In April 2006, Integrity Toys launched an Amanda Lepore doll produced by Jason Wu as a benefit for AIDS charities.[20] Lepore has a line of cosmetics in partnership with CAMP Cosmetics called "Collection Lepore", as well as a signature perfume.[21]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums
Year Album
2011 I...Amanda Lepore
EPs
Year Album
2005 Introducing... Amanda Lepore
2007 My Pussy
2008 Fierce Pussy (The Remix Album)
2010 Cazwell and Amanda
Singles
Year Title Album
2006 "I Know What Boys Like" Another Gay Movie Soundtrack
2009 "Cotton Candy" I...Amanda Lepore
2009 "My Hair Looks Fierce"
Music videos
Year Title Director
2009 "Cotton Candy"[22] Bec Stupak
2010 "Marilyn"[23] Leo Herrera
2011 "Turn Me Over" Marco Ovando
2010 "Get Into It" Cazwell feat Amanda Lepore Marco Ovando
2011 "Doin It My Way" Marco Ovando
2012 "Doin It My Way" Remix Video Sid Licious

References[edit]

  1. ^ LaChapelle, David, (2005). Artists And Prostitutes Taschen America Llc, ISBN 978-3-8228-1617-2
  2. ^ Williford, Daniel (2009). Queer Aesthetics. Borderlands, Vol. 8. No. 2.
  3. ^ a b c Olding, Rachel (February 27, 2010) Fantastic plastic. Sydney Morning Herald
  4. ^ Peden, Lauren David. "Shopping with...Amanda Lepore", Dominican Today, September 28, 2005. Accessed July 6, 2011. "But that's what makes Amanda (nee Armand) Lepore from Cedar Grove, New Jersey so great. The boy who grew up to be a Vargas pinup girl may be all manufactured artifice on the outside - huge blond hair, huge red lips, huge gravity-defying boobs."
  5. ^ Musto, Michael (March 11, 2008). Christian From Project Runway Has a Boyfriend! Village Voice
  6. ^ Ian Phillips, "How Do I Look? ; Transsexual, Muse, Naked Party Animal, Amanda Lepore Walks on the Wild Side", The Independent, 27 October 2001
  7. ^ a b Lepore, Amanda. "The Amanda Lepore Story". buzznet.com. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d Amanda's Story on amandaleporeonline.com at the Wayback Machine (archived November 3, 2008)
  9. ^ a b Musto, Michael (March 16, 1999). "NY Mirror". villagevoice.com. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  10. ^ Road to Home (music video) on YouTube
  11. ^ Sunglasses at Night (music video) on YouTube
  12. ^ Watch my Mouth (music video) on YouTube
  13. ^ All Over Your Face (music video) on YouTube
  14. ^ Page Six (July 10, 2003). How Lopez lost Vogue cover. New York Post
  15. ^ Monroe, Kennidi (December 22, 2008). Interview: Season Finale, with Amanda Lepore. TrannyTalk 101
  16. ^ Chinen, Nate (June 20, 2007). Power to the People (and Some Pop Too). New York Times
  17. ^ Staff report (July 16, 2009). Electra Lites to leave Detroit. PrideSource
  18. ^ Visco, Gerry (June 29, 2011). Bash Compactor: Golden Girl. New York Press
  19. ^ Clark, Hazel; Brody, David (2009). Design Studies: A Reader, p. 493. Berg, ISBN 978-1-84788-236-3
  20. ^ Lopez, Vincent (May 9, 2006). Toys, p. 64. The Advocate
  21. ^ Iannacci, Elio (March 17, 2011). The new transsexual chic. Macleans
  22. ^ "Cotton Candy" (music video) on YouTube
  23. ^ "Marilyn" (music video) on YouTube

External links[edit]