RuPaul’s Drag Race season 7 queen Pearl Liaison (Matt Lent) has just released an alternative fashion doll named Vladonna.
In collaboration with designer toy company Kidrobot and renowned doll collector Gina Garan, Vladonna is meant to inspire creativity by arriving, essentially, as a blank canvas.
Kidrobot is known for their blank, customizable figures like Munny, so Vladonna fits right in.
‘Looking at her, she’s obviously different than other fashion dolls,’ Garan tells GSN. ‘Her aesthetic is really based on Matt’s childhood drawings, drag, and his interest in plastic surgery.’
Garan met Lent through a mutual friend—drag queen Detox, Garan reveals. Detox was visiting Garan in Brooklyn and told her about Lent, who lived nearby. They invited him over and, upon seeing Garan’s collection of dolls, a collaboration was born.
Garan’s know-how of the doll world led Lent to bringing his sculptures of Vladonna to Kidrobot as prototypes.
‘Vladonna is essentially every creative avenue I’ve ever taken rolled into one gorgeous, hand-held item,’ Lent tells GSN. ‘I have always been obsessed and an avid collector of all kinds of dolls and figurines. Creating and designing a fashion doll has always been my ultimate fantasy project.’
‘My inspiration came from being a kid who loved to repaint Barbie and Bratz. I would remove their face paint with nail polish remover and repaint her whole body and style her hair. I always wished for a more voluptuous-figured doll that could encompass more body types,’ Lent says.
While current iterations of Vladonna are featureless, it won’t always be that way. Eventually, other models with faces and clothing will be released.
‘Vladonna is one of the first fully customizable fashion dolls,’ Lent explains. ‘There have been other concepts, but Vladonna has an edge with her unique silhouette and multi-hair color options. When her first fully-clothed, fashion-forward versions release you will see how the modern world of art and fashion influence her design and upcoming concepts!’
While reactions to Vladonna have been mostly positive, Garan notes that many were slow to praise her because of her unrealistic body.
‘But that’s the point,’ Garan says.
Vladonna is meant to be an exaggeration and even a mockery of ridiculous female beauty standards—much like drag is.
‘I can see how Vladonna could be misconstrued as a taboo or adult toy because of her bodacious bod,’ Lent says. ‘But I hope that when people see how Vladonna opens up the creative mind, you’ll see that she is not about sex or fetishizing.’
Vladonna was released on Friday, 13 April. She’s available now on the Kidrobot website. Vladonna retails for $40 [£28.09; €32.40].