Lepore at the Life Ball in Vienna, Austria, May 2014.
December 5, 1967
Cedar Grove, New Jersey, United States
|Height||5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)|
|Hair color||Platinum blonde|
Amanda Lepore (born December 5, 1967) is an American model, socialite, singer and performance artist. She is one of the most prominent transgender public figures. She has appeared in advertising for numerous companies, including M.A.C. Cosmetics, Mego Jeans, The Blonds, Swatch, CAMP Cosmetics, and Heatherette, which has used her likeness on clothing as well as hiring her as a model. Lepore is also noted as a regular subject in photographer David LaChapelle's work, serving as his muse, as well as many other photographers, such as Terry Richardson. She participated in LaChapelle's Artists and Prostitutes 1985–2005 exhibit in New York, where She "lived" in a voyeuristic life-sized set. Lepore has also released several singles, many written by and/or recorded with Cazwell. In 2011 she released her debut studio album I...Amanda Lepore on Peace Bisquit.
Amanda, born Armand, grew up in the Essex County community of Cedar Grove, New Jersey. Her father was an Italian-American chemical engineer, and her mother was a German-American housewife who had schizophrenia and spent much time in mental institutions. She has one sibling, an elder brother.
Lepore later wrote that "Ever since I can first remember, I knew I was a girl. I couldn't understand why my parents were dressing me up in boys clothing. I thought they were insane." In her early teens she began making costumes for a transgender friend in exchange for hormones. Already isolated from her peers, her parents soon withdrew her from public school and hired a private tutor, then took her to a psychologist who helped her obtain a hormone prescription to begin Hormone Replacement Therapy.
At the age of 17, and through a legal loophole, Lepore both married a bookstore owner and was granted sex reassignment surgery. Lepore underwent surgery at the age of 19 in Yonkers, New York. Lepore later left her husband and relocated to New York City in 1989. In the early 1990s, as she established her career as a nightlife figure, Lepore spent her days working in a nail salon, as a dominatrix, and later as a cosmetics salesgirl for Patricia Field. After meeting David LaChapelle one evening while hosting at Bowery Bar, she began collaborating with him and ultimately achieved international acclaim as his muse.
Modeling and acting
Lepore has appeared in fashion magazines, including French Playboy, Ponytail, DAMn and TUSH. She is on the cover of Lords of Acid's 1999 album Expand Your Head and on Thighpaulsandra's 2006 album The Lepore Extrusion.
Lepore had a cameo in the 1998 documentary Party Monster: The Shockumentary and the 2003 film Party Monster. She can also be seen briefly in the 2001 fashion spoof comedy Zoolander and was featured in Another Gay Sequel in 2008 and the 2004 documentary Dig!. Lepore will be featured in José André Sibaja's upcoming film The Zanctuary. Lepore has also had cameos in music videos for artists including Elton John, Thalía, The Dandy Warhols, Girl in a Coma, Grace Jones, Keanan Duffty, TIGA for his cover of "Sunglasses at Night," and the video for "Days" by the alt rock band The Drums. Lepore appears in many of Cazwell's music videos, including "Watch my Mouth" and "All Over Your Face".
She was Chief of Parade at the 2010 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
In 2005, Lepore released her first album, Introducing... Amanda Lepore, which contains "Champagne" and "My Hair Looks Fierce". In 2007, she released two remix albums, Fierce Pussy and My Pussy E.P. Lepore also sings the main title for Another Gay Movie, "I Know What Boys Like". She also performs "Cotton Candy", from the soundtrack of Another Gay Sequel.
Lepore was a part of True Colors Tour 2007, a 15-city North American benefit tour sponsored by the Logo channel, hosted by comedian Margaret Cho and headlined by Cyndi Lauper. The tour benefited the Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG and the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and it included Erasure, Debbie Harry, The Gossip, Rufus Wainwright, The Dresden Dolls, The MisShapes, Rosie O'Donnell, Indigo Girls, The Cliks and other special guests. In 2009, Lepore performed at the Majestic Theatre during Metro Pride Fest in Detroit with The Divas of the Majestic: A Divine Lites Productions and Founder, Electra Lites. In June 2011 she debuted her album I...Amanda Lepore at the Highline Ballroom with Cazwell, Kat Deluna, Neon Hitch, Ana Matronic, Jonté and many others.
In 2014, Lepore was featured on drag performer Sharon Needles's single "I Wish I Were Amanda Lepore", and guest starred in the music video for the track, depicting Needles as a fan obsessed with getting plastic surgery to look like her.
In October 1999, Swatch released "Time Tranny", a watch designed by LaChapelle with Lepore on the face displaying a printed crack on the glass and marble stripes as the background. A second version displays no cracked glass and a blue and yellow striped background. In April 2006, Integrity Toys launched an Amanda Lepore doll produced by Jason Wu as a benefit for AIDS charities. Lepore has a line of cosmetics in partnership with CAMP Cosmetics called "Collection Lepore", as well as a signature perfume.
- Studio albums
|2005||Introducing... Amanda Lepore
|2008||Fierce Pussy (The Remix Album)|
|2010||Cazwell and Amanda
|2006||"I Know What Boys Like"||Another Gay Movie Soundtrack|
|2009||"Cotton Candy"||I...Amanda Lepore|
|"My Hair Looks Fierce"|
- Music videos
|2009||"Cotton Candy"||Bec Stupak|
|2011||"Turn Me Over"||Marco Ovando|
|2010||"Get Into It" Cazwell feat. Amanda Lepore||Marco Ovando|
|2011||"Doin It My Way"||Marco Ovando|
|2012||"Doin It My Way" Remix||Sid Licious|
- LaChapelle, David, (2005). Artists And Prostitutes Taschen America Llc, ISBN 978-3-8228-1617-2
- Williford, Daniel (2009). Queer Aesthetics. Borderlands, Vol. 8. No.2.
- Peden, Lauren David. "Shopping with...Amanda Lepore", Dominican Today, September 28, 2005. Accessed July 6, 2011. "But that's what makes Amanda (nee Armand) Lepore from Cedar Grove, New Jersey so great. The boy who grew up to be a Vargas pinup girl may be all manufactured artifice on the outside – huge blond hair, huge red lips, huge gravity-defying boobs."
- Musto, Michael (March 11, 2008). Christian From Project Runway Has a Boyfriend! Village Voice
- Ian Phillips, "How Do I Look? ; Transsexual, Muse, Naked Party Animal, Amanda Lepore Walks on the Wild Side", The Independent, 27 October 2001
- Lepore, Amanda. "The Amanda Lepore Story". buzznet.com. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- Olding, Rachel (February 27, 2010) Fantastic plastic. Sydney Morning Herald
- "Amanda's Story on amandaleporeonline.com". Archived from the original on 2008-11-03. Retrieved 2008-01-21.
- Musto, Michael (March 16, 1999). "NY Mirror". villagevoice.com. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- Road to Home (music video) on YouTube
- Sunglasses at Night (music video) on YouTube
- Watch my Mouth (music video) on YouTube
- All Over Your Face (music video) on YouTube
- Page Six (July 10, 2003). How Lopez lost Vogue cover. New York Post
- Monroe, Kennidi (December 22, 2008). Interview: Season Finale, with Amanda Lepore. TrannyTalk 101
- Chinen, Nate (June 20, 2007). Power to the People (and Some Pop Too). New York Times
- Staff report (July 16, 2009). Electra Lites to leave Detroit. PrideSource
- Visco, Gerry (June 29, 2011). Bash Compactor: Golden Girl. New York Press
- Clark, Hazel; Brody, David (2009). Design Studies: A Reader, p. 493. Berg, ISBN 978-1-84788-236-3
- Lopez, Vincent (May 9, 2006). Toys, p. 64. The Advocate
- Iannacci, Elio (March 17, 2011). The new transsexual chic. Macleans
- "Cotton Candy" (music video) on YouTube
- "Marilyn" (music video) on YouTube
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