It’s 1995, and cosmetics giant M·A·C are about to debut their first ever campaign girl. The icon will be the face of Viva Glam, the pioneering charitable line that raises money for Aids via the sale of special limited edition products. “Who’s the girl” decorates the walls, as waiters serve question mark cookies – anticipation is in the air as legendary TV host Jeanne Beker of Fashion Television steps on stage for the big reveal. Perfect for M·A·C’s vision of a company that could suit “all sexes, all ages and all races”, the glamazon chosen is none other than drag superstar RuPaul, who had made his name two years earlier with smash single “Supermodel”.
The contract is believed to have made him the first man to ever land a major cosmetics deal, and while for years all we had to remember it by was its iconic campaign image, now the moment has been dug out of the VHS box and put online in this archive clip. Ru describes the appointment as his “crowning glory” – and as for what he thinks it will say to women? “If this make-up can make a big old black man look like this, what can it do for me?!” Amazing.