How Wigs by Vanity Keep Combing Back for More

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 17 Jul 2019

If you’re familiar with the drag scene, you may have heard of extraordinaire, Wigs by Vanity. As the first wig company created for drag queens by drag queens, the brand has become one of the most popular and sought-after retailers in the drag industry.

Vanity Faire, AKA Benjamin Moir, is the face behind the successful wig company. It’s also co-owned by RuPaul’s Drag Race royalty, Courtney Act, AKA Shane Janek. Together, they have created one of the most successful wig companies in the world, with their products worn by RuPaul, Katya Zamolodchikova, Alaska 5000 and many more.

The Beginning of Something Fabulous

Starting out as a hairdresser, Vanity always loved the idea of crafting fabulous hair for fabulous people. “I began hairdressing when I was sixteen, so I’ve been hairdressing for a long time now. I learned that I didn’t want to do hair, I wanted to do drag and started wearing wigs and dealing with them, and I had a lot of drag queen friends who wanted wigs done. So I became the go-to person to have wig styles, and I was making it up as I went along,” explained Vanity. “But I had good, natural ability and insight into what we were doing, so I got a lot of experience and gained a lot of trust.”

“It was the mid-noughties, and Courtney and I wanted to have fabulous wigs. We realised that we were both well-suited to each other’s skills and talents, and together, we balanced each other out,” explained Vanity. “We kind of had this dream of making fabulous and beautiful wigs for drag queens!”

As the first synthetic wig company made for drag queens by drag queens, Wigs by Vanity set the bar high for other retailers to replicate. Based in Sydney, Benjamin has always been in the hairstyling industry. “We started out in the very early days of internet shopping; eBay had just begun. It was all very new and very experimental. But because we were the only ones doing it, it was enough for us to learn what we needed to do while still making money,” Vanity explained.

Vanity Faire and Courtney Act

Staying A-Head of the Competition

When it comes to keeping on top of the competition, Vanity tries to stay in her own lane and stick to what she does best. “I try and live inside my own little bubble, do things that are authentic to me and provide the best wigs that I can. What sets us apart is that I design my own wigs. I work very closely with our supplier. It’s hard work, but it’s a completely unique product that I have designed from start to finish,” said Vanity.

Social media plays a massive role in the brand’s advertising strategy. “Instagram is my only form of advertising,” Vanity explained. After deciding to remove Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms from the procedure, Instagram became the primary location for queens to get inspired and discover the latest styles. Instagram offers an in-depth look into Vanity’s studio, where she often presents her ‘Fabulous Fridays’ discounts and limited edition pieces, as well as insights into her everyday life.

How is the Wig Creation Process Done?

Vanity’s process for creating a beautiful wig is time-consuming. “I’m a pretty creative person, so I have things going on in my head all the time. Sometimes I’ll focus on colours, and not style. At the moment I’ve got four, five different styles as samples in production, trying to work out what I want our next generation of wigs to be.” The wigs themselves come out of China, which can take up to a year to finally reach Vanity’s studio. Ultimately, Vanity has new products in the works all the time. When Vanity creates something new, she turns to her ‘messy’ spreadsheet, filled with colour names, styles and ideas. As a pop culture lover, many of the names reflect famous quotes and characters, such as ‘Blush and Bashful’, ‘Mother of Dragons’ and ‘Mattel Blonde’. While Wigs by Vanity has already been a household name amongst drag queens for some time, the company hit the big time in the US when Courtney Act stepped into season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, coming in as Top Three of her season. She then danced her way to the top of Dancing with the Stars, coming in 2nd, and won Celebrity Big Brother UK – all in Wigs by Vanity masterpieces. From Eurovision stars to supermodels, Wigs by Vanity has been perched on the scalps of thousands and is only getting bigger.

So, What’s Next for Wigs by Vanity?

Of course, it hasn’t always been peaches and cream – as with all business ventures; there have been ups and downs, that ultimately make the brand stronger. “I kind of went through a phase, quite recently, where we had this really amazing growth since we started. We were getting bigger and better, and then we sort of plateaued for a bit, and it affected me emotionally,” explained Vanity. “I thought, ‘That’s it, it’s over’, but then I realised that society puts pressure on us about what a successful business should be, and I was putting this pressure on myself. I wasn’t listening to what I wanted and what was comfortable for me, and I came to the conclusion that ‘If this business never grows passed this point, I’ll be fine’. I’m happy, I’ve got a full-time job, and I do something that I love,” Vanity said.

Despite the ever-growing popularity of drag culture throughout the world, Wigs by Vanity hopes to maintain a consistent level of respect and trust throughout the journey. “I hope it will be the exactly how it is, only bigger,” Vanity explained. “Just expand the size of it; I’m really happy with its current model, with its current scope.”

Wigs by Vanity continues to slay the game with its ongoing collection of marvellous designs and beautiful styling. With future endeavours including growing in size, employing more staff and making more beautiful wigs, Wigs by Vanity has nothing but potential to be the most fabulous brand in Australia.

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