RuPaul's Drag Race fan favorites Brooke Lynn Hytes and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo have reunited in the name of lingerie and Pride. The two queens star in Bluebella's new campaign for its limited-edition Pride collection, a rainbow-bright variety of lacey bras, garter belts, and sexy panties, inspired by the colors of the Pride flag.
“They were a dream duo for our Pride campaign because they embody the bold nature of Pride and brought so much fun and sass to the set," Bluebella founder and CEO, Emily Bendell, said in a press release. "All this while looking amazing in the colorful new collection!”
In addition to 23-piece collection, Bluebella will also be donating 10% of its profits to OutRight Action International, a human rights organization supporting LGBTIQ people around the world.
OutRight prioritizes collaborations with purpose-driven companies that are committed to authentically representing and serving the LGBTIQ community. Bluebella is one of those companies," said Elise Colomer-Cheadle, director of development at OutRight Action International. “In leveraging its platform, Bluebella elevates OutRight, the issues impacting LGBTIQ people globally, and why our work is so important. This partnership allows OutRight to reach stakeholders that we otherwise might not reach with a message of equality."
Bluebella's limited-edition Pride collection is available now on the brand's website. Below, Brooke Lynn Hytes and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo dish the dirt on their illustrious, lingerie-clad reunion with Byrdie.
On Shooting the Campaign
"It was a lot of fun. We had a blast. We don’t get to see each other very often because of our work schedules so whenever we get to get together it’s always fun to catch up and gossip," said Hytes. "We’ve actually never worked together on anything that involved a photoshoot before."
Mateo echoed the sentiment, adding, "What is called when you see a friend you haven’t seen in a while and you take off where you left off? That."
On Their Favorite Pieces
"There’s a blue set that I really really loved," Hytes said, referencing the Egyptian blue Oslo set. "I remember it was near the end of the day and I was getting a little crazy and I was riding around in this tiny little toddler tricycle on set in my blue bra and panties. But I really like that set for some reason. I remember it particularly."
For Mateo, it's the electric purple Isla set: "She was cute,"
On Rekindling a Romance
Many fans of season 11 will remember Hytes and Mateo's on-screen romance, which played out throughout their time in the competition. Though it's been years since then, one has to wonder...did this campaign shoot reignite an old flame?
"The only sparks flying were us trying to tuck our junk away in panties," said Hytes, with Mateo adding, "I don’t think being in panties and a bra in drag is going to spark anything between anybody."
On Lingerie in Drag
"I was actually saying earlier that I’ve never worn lingerie, even in drag. I’ve always worn padded bras and stuff but never like lacy little bras and panties," said Hytes. "But it was fun! It was really fun to put them on and see myself in them for the first time. I was like, ‘Oh I look kind of good in this!”
But that doesn't mean you can expect to see any barely-there unmentionables in Hytes' upcoming performances.
"I’m a woman of a certain age," she continued. "I’m in my late thirties now, and I think my bra and panties on stage phase has left the building."
However, the jury's still out on Mateo.
"Well don’t count me out! I might be wearing a bra and panties at a city near you."
On How Drag has Changed
"It’s really night and day quite honestly. RuPaul and RuPaul’s Drag Race have completely busted the door wide open for drag artists to go out and pretty much do whatever you want now," said Hytes. "You’re seeing drag queens in fashion campaigns, on different TV shows besides RuPaul’s Drag Race, in movies. By making drag kind of a mainstream, pop culture phenomenon it’s really just opened the doors for all of us to do whatever we want with our careers now. We’re not just stuck in bars performing."
On Their Fashion Must-Haves
"In drag, a corset, probably. That’s something that I need at all times with me," explains Hytes. "Out of drag, I’m gonna be bougie and say my Balenciaga sneakers because I love them."
Mateo continued to work the gig, adding, "When I’m out of drag, my bra and panties too!"
On Pride 2022
"I will be in Toronto for Pride this year making a lot of money. I think every gay social media influencer or celebrity’s plan during Pride is to cash in and make some coin," shared Hytes. "And also have a good time. We haven’t been able to celebrate Pride in two years now, really, so I think this is going to be an amazing Pride. [It's] such a fun time, but it’s such a busy time for us because that’s when the bookings really go through the roof. But I’m honestly really looking forward to it. It’s been two years. I need a Pride to turn up at.
And so is Mateo, who will be stateside in New York City during the festivities. "I’m sure it’s gonna be a lot of fun, a lot of shenanigans, and a lot more stories to tell."