Foreword - Amelia Airhead
In 2003, Vanity and Courtney officially launched "Wigs by Vanity" and to some, it would appear their new lacefront wigs appeared within our drag community virtually overnight.
This is not the case, and has actually been a long and arduous journey.
Several years ago, they started a worldwide search to source a wigmaker that could produce these amazing wigs at a cost affordable for the poorly paid Sydney drag queen. Some of you may be aware that these wigs sell for a minimum of US$1000, a sum beyond the reach of most.
At the same time, Vanity took it upon herself to learn the art of lacefront wigmaking. This is a highly specialised skill, involving many hours of blinding work.
These new skills assisted Vanity when dealing with potential new manufacturers in Asia, but the barriers of language and distance proved problematic, with initial samples arriving back in Sydney that fell well short of Vanity and Courtney's flawless standards.
Their dedication to the project was demonstrated to me when they both flew to China to personally show the manufacturer how the wigs should be made.
So after several years of setbacks and delays, I am so proud that they have persevered. They are now selling their wigs on eBay and they deserve to reap the rewards for their hard work.
Their wigs are beautiful and are made for drag - big, full, glamorous, with undetectable hairlines and most notably, affordable.
Their website is www.wigsbyvanity.com, and being kids of the new generation, they have embraced technology with a presence on MySpace, Facebook and as I mentioned early, eBay.
Wigs are synonymous with drag, and are such an integral part of our work. They are just as important as our costumes, choreography, song choice etc.
I wish "Wigs by Vanity" all the very best of success,
Über Riah owner
Mutli DIVA* Award Winner including Entertainer of the Year 2006
* Drag Industry Variety Awards, Sydney Australia
Ben Moir (Vanity) - Creative Director
Ben Moir has had a life long love affair with wigs and make-up, he has toured the world as a successful makeup artist and wig stylist, or “Wigador” as he likes to call it. He has been the Wig and Makeup designer on I Will Survive (Network 10 – Australia), and the wig supervisor and associate make up designer on Priscilla the Musical across Australia, on the West End, Broadway, Milan, San Paulo, and Stockholm.
Ben’s artistic passion developed at a very young age, dressing up and putting makeup on himself, and anyone willing to sit still long enough. Fresh out of school Ben decided to pursue a career in hairdressing.
Not content with the simple life Ben packed his bags and moved to Sydney’s Oxford Street where he quickly began to feel right at home. He became intrigued with the colourful, creative and often warped performances of Sydney’s world-famous drag performers. He soon began to experiment with hair and makeup on himself, and created his beautiful onstage persona ‘Vanity Faire’. Vanity stood out from the pack, she had supermodel looks complimented by natural talent. It wasn’t long before she was snapped up by the legendary Carlotta, of Les Girls fame to tour the country in her ‘Beautiful Boys’ show. Vanity went from strength to strength growing in confidence and popularity. In 1999 she was the poster girl for the DIVA’s (Drag Industry Variety Awards), in 2000 she won the DIVA rising star award and in 2001 she received the title of ‘Sydney’s favourite drag queen’ and the ‘golden Oscar’, ‘Entertainer of the year’. Since then Vanity has gone on to enjoy successful career as a photographic model and performer, you name it… and Vanity has probably done it!
All the while, the man behind this great woman absorbed all that he could, continually learning from this amazing and creative scene. Ben worked for four years at the Individual Wig, here he worked in a professional environment styling wigs for people from all walks of life. As if wigs weren’t enough Ben continued to develop his amazing talent in make-up by enrolling in the Sydney School of Make-up Art. In 2004, Ben opened his own enterprise ‘Wigs by Vanity’, a retail shop located on Oxford Street in Sydney’s Darlinghurst . Ben posseses the enviable talent of making wigs look like real hair, his diverse experience enables him to make anything look amazing whether it be the most natural European human hair or the most fabulous catwalk creation. Ben has styled wigs for clients all over Australia and around the world, from Broadway in New York, the West End in London to Milan, Brazil, Los Angeles to name but a few. He has done work in Australia television, for the BBC London, big budget American films; for shows from the Opera House to the legendary Albury Hotel and everything in between; for Fashion Week catwalk shows and national advertising campaigns.
It is with this background, skill and knowledge that Ben has teamed up with Shane Jenek (his sister and globe-trotter Courtney Act) to bring to the world this fabulous range of beautiful quality wigs from WigsByVanity.com… and all of this is only the beginning.