We Heart NYC Drag!
LGBTQ

We Heart NYC Drag!

by Jimi Urquiaga

The Brooklyn drag scene celebrates every aspect of the fashion industry — hair, makeup, nails, styling, performance and more — without sacrificing authenticity. This genuineness is what pulled local performer Missleidy Rodrigez (AKA Jimi Urquiaga) from her fashion funk after working for more than 10 years as a stylist and creative director in New York.

"After a decade in the fashion industry, I grew tired of the same old generic editorial stories and I wasn't feeling fulfilled artistically,” Missleidy tells PAPER. “Fashion was so stale, structured and full of politics that it took out all of the fun of creating. It wasn’t what made me fall in love with it back in 2008.”

Watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and thinking, I think I could do that, pulled Missleidy into the world of drag and, through that, back into fashion. “[The drag community] encourages everyone to come into their own unique perspective on all the facets of fashion,” she says, and Brooklyn is where she found all the refreshing takes she'd been looking for.

Brooklyn drag icons taught her how to showcase her art “boldly, fearlessly and unapologetically,” Missleidy notes, specifically crediting icons such as Merrie Cherry, Horrorchata, Charlene Incarnate, Tyler Ashley, untitled queen, Maddelyn Hatter and Alotta Mcgriddles for being sources of inspiration when she first started drag.

These performers paved the way for a new generation, carving out “space for us to be free and create without boundaries,” Missleidy says, naming Chiquitita, Junior Mintt, Rify Royalty, La Zavaleta, Klondyke, West Dakota, Jenn D Role, Patti Spliff, Julie J, Mthrtrsa and countless others. Serena Tea’s 2022 book, Centerfold, jumps out to Missleidy as a prime example of their creative capabilities.

Events like Madd Mondays, DRAGnet, Bitch Fest, Sad Songs, Oops, hole pics, in living color, Takes The Cake, Switch n' Play, Sylvester and — the event of all events — Bushwig, meanwhile, have become homes to New York’s queer community. “These are all different and have their own identity, but a common thread that ties them together is community,” Missleidy says. “The power that emanates when we come together and move as one is undeniable.”

Now that she's back into designing and creating visuals for herself, Missleidy decided she needed to create something bigger — a project where she could bring her community along with her for the journey of rediscovering the beautiful intersections of fashion and drag.

So she invited dozens of New York's finest drag performers and production icons to craft a photo series for PAPER that showcased NYC drag excellence in its scope and influence. “I want [this project] to be a time capsule that archives where we are in regards to hair, makeup and fashion at this specific moment.,” she says. “I want to celebrate the power and magnetism of each of these entertainers.”

Most importantly, as Missleidy notes, drag “isn’t only a form of self-expression — it’s art, it’s political and, in its truest form, it’s love.”

In light of the continued wave of anti-trans and anti-drag legislation throughout the US, PAPER encourages readers to donate to grassroots organizations like the Trans Formations Project through the month of April, when we’ll be rolling out Missleidy’s project in parts, right here.

Photographer/ Director:
Noah Fecks Studio @Noahfecksisawesome

Fashion Stylist / Creative Director/ Producer / Casting Director
Jimi Urquiaga @Jimi_urquiaga

Styling/ Production assistant: Chancey Bridges @chanceybridges

Cast: Missleidy Rodriguez @missleidyrodriguez Hair: Serena Tea @serenateanyc
Look: Christian Siriano @csiriano
Hat: Christian Cowan

Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Nails: 1-800-Drip @1.800.drip
Lashes: LashCorps @lashcorps

Cosmetics: Mintty Makeup, kryolan, Urban Decay, Fenty Beauty, Mac Cosmetics, Trixie Cosmetics KimChi chic Beauty, One/Size, Neutrogena and Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics

Photography: Noah Fecks (B&A)
Photographers Agent - B&A Instagram: @bareps
Fashion Stylist/Creative Director/ Producer / Casting Director Jimi Urquiaga @Jimi_urquiaga
Studio manager - Justin Belmondo Instagram: @justinbelmondo
Production Designer: - Ethan Lunkenheimer
Instagram: @elunken
Location: The Roxy Hotel New York @theroxyhotelnyc @roxycinemanyc
Special Thanks - The Roxy Hotel, Hannah Fair, Luigi Menduni Instagram - @theroxyhotelnyc @hannahunfair @luigi_menduni

Cast Credits:
Row 1 L To Right
Jackie Cox, Klondyke, The legendary kevin aviance, Missleidy Rodriguez, Busted,K. James, Shuga Cain
Row 2
Yuhua Hamasaki, Megami, Dahlia Sin, Boyish Charm, Richard, Citrine Cash Collins, Mariyea, Alexis Michelle
Row 3: Catrina Lovelace, COLETTE, Muscles Monty, Junior Mintt, Poly ester, Marti Gold Cummings, Castrata, Cheeks Voila, Elle/ LC, Peachez
Row 4: Audrey Phoenix, Baejing, God Complex, Bootsie lefaris, MissMa’amShe, Myster E Mel KiKi, Ryan Roachie, Andrew Dahling, Hibiscus, Vena cava, Trouble,
Row 5: Little Piece, Kiki Ball Change, MAGNOLIA POLARIS, Jupiter Genesis, Plasma, Chola Spears, Chelsea Piers, Doris Locht, Nymphia Wind, Tuna Melt, Reese Havoc, Brita Filter,
Row. 6:
Eden Darkstar, Shia Ho, Inita D, Tina Twirler, Ella Fartzgerald, Sweaty Eddie, Kris Love, Izzy Uncut, Athena, Piper

Photographer/ Director: Tawfick Espriella @tawfick
Creative Director/ Producer / Casting Director Jimi Urquiaga @Jimi_urquiaga
Designer: Jazzmint Dash @jazzmint.dash Set Design: Ethan Lunkenheimer @elunken
Photography Assistant: Diego Juan
Vargas @diegojuanvideoman
Styling Assistant/ Madeline Kevelson @spiltmlk Styling assistant / Production Assistant: Chancey Bridges @chanceybridges
Location: Noah Fecks Studio @Noahfecksisawesome
Cast:
Jazzmint Dash @Jazzmint.dash
Look: Jazzmint Dash @Jazzmint.dash
Missleidy Rodriguez @Missleidyrodriguez Look: Jazzmint Dash @Jazzmint.dash Hair: Dale Delaporte @daledela
Nails: 1-800-Drip @1.800.drip
Lashes: LashCorps @lashcorps
Cosmetics: Mintty Makeup, Mac Cosmetics, Gucci Beauty, sugar Pill, Urban Decay and Morphe

Diana Dash @diana.dash
Look: Jazzmint Dash @Jazzmint.dash Hair: Diana Dash @diana.dash

Milk @bigandmilky
Look: Jazzmint Dash @Jazzmint.dash

John Mangru @johnmangru
Look: Jazzmint Dash @Jazzmint.dash
Cosmetics: Maybelline, Nyx, Fenty Beauty and Lift and Snatch

Lana Ja'Rae @lanajarae
Look: Jazzmint Dash @Jazzmint.dash
Hair: Vanity Mirror @the1stvanitymirror
Cosmetics: Mintty Makeup, Colourpop, Mac Cosmetics, Gucci Beauty, sugar Pill, Urban Decay and Morphe

Angel Au
Look: Jazzmint Dash @Jazzmint.dash
Hair: Koji Ichikawa @hair_by_koji_ichikawa
Cosmetics: Mintty Makeup, Mac Cosmetics, Kimchi chic beauty, sugar Pill, Urban Decay and Morphe

Photography: Max Mauro
Stylist, creative director, producer and casting director: Jimi Urquiaga
Photography assistant: AJ Jordan
Location: Noah Fecks Studio

Missleidy RodrigezHair: Dale Delaporte, Clothing: Jimi Urquiaga, Tights: Capezio, Ring: Laruicci, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Lashes: LashCorps

Julie J Makeup: Mintty Makeup

Lagoona Bloo Hair: Moe K, Styling: Brooklyn Nite, Clothing: Hisham Dawoud

The Dragon Sisters Makeup: Mintty Makeup

Zeraiya YōkøCoat: Balmain, Belt: Zana Bayne

Baby Love Hair: Zenobia, Clothing: House of Baby

Sweaty Eddie, Tyler Ashley

Photography and director: Luke Dickey
Stylist, creative director, producer and casting director: Jimi Urquiaga
Styling and production assistant: Chancey Bridges
Location: Noah Fecks Studio

Missleidy Rodrigez Hair: Essence, Clothing: Hanifa, Coat: Christian Cowan, Shoes: Hanifa, Jewelry: Laruicci, Lashes: LashCorps, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, MAC Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Fenty Beauty, Morphe, Shiseido, Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics, Kimchi Chic Beauty, Neutrogena and Trixie Cosmetics

EssenceHair: Essence, Clothing: Hanifa, Coat: Christian Cowan, Shoes: Hanifa, Jewelry: Laruicci, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, MAC Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Fenty Beauty, Morphe, Shiseido, Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics, Kimchi Chic Beauty, Neutrogena and Trixie Cosmetics

La Zavaleta, Colin Plant, Anthony Morfa

Photography: Flavia Daniele
Director: Noah Fecks Studio
Stylist, creative director, producer and casting director: Jimi Urquiaga
Styling and production assistant: Chancey Bridges
Location:
Noah Fecks Studio

Missleidy RodrigezHair: Dale Delaporte, Clothing: Jimi Urquiaga, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Lashes: LashCorps, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kryolan, MAC Cosmetics, Trixie Cosmetics, KimChi Chic Beauty and Danessa Myricks

Blue Makeup: NYX Cosmetics, Mintty Makeup, Kryolan, MAC Cosmetics, Trixie Cosmetics, KimChi Chic Beauty and Danessa Myricks

Dawn Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kryolan, MAC Cosmetics, Trixie Cosmetics, KimChi Chic Beauty and Danessa Myricks

Iodine Q Clothing: Ten Yards Clothing, Makeup: Alcone Latex, Love Craft Beauty, Mintty Makeup, Kryolan, MAC Cosmetics, Trixie Cosmetics, KimChi Chic Beauty and Danessa Myricks

Jay KayHair: LEAK, Clothing: LEAK, Makeup: Haus Labs, Kryolan, Mehron, Mintty Makeup, MAC Cosmetics, Trixie Cosmetics, KimChi Chic Beauty and Danessa Myricks

La Zavaleta Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kryolan, Haus Labs, MAC Cosmetics, Trixie Cosmetics, KimChi Chic Beauty and Danessa Myricks

Sterling TullMakeup: Danessa Myricks, KimChi Chic and Ben Nye

Tj Maxxx Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kryolan, MAC Cosmetics, Trixie Cosmetics, KimChi Chic Beauty and Danessa Myricks

X-EMMA Makeup
: Mintty Makeup, Kryolan, MAC Cosmetics, Trixie Cosmetics, KimChi Chic Beauty and Danessa Myricks

Photography and director: Dylan Thomas
Stylist, creative director, producer and casting director: Jimi Urquiaga
Styling and production assistant: Chancey Bridges

Missleidy Rodrigez Hair: Dale Delaporte, Clothing: Mother of All, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Lashes: LashCorps, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Fenty Beauty, MAC Cosmetics, Trixie Cosmetics, One/size, KimChi Chic Beauty and Danessa Myricks

Luxx Noir London Clothing: Mother of All

Essa Noche Hair: Nxthing

BeaujanglessMakeup: Mintty Makeup

Jasmine Rice LabeijaHair: JasmineRiceNYC, Clothing: Hanifa, Makeup: JasmineRiceNYC, Juvia’s Place, Nimya, Kiss Lashes, ABH, Morphe and Huda Beauty

Charlene Makeup: MAC Cosmetics

Rify Royalty Hair: Marco, Clothing: Hanifa

Mo’RiahClothing: Mother of All

Janelle No.5, Stasi,Chiquitita,Dahlia Sin,Milan Garcon

Photography and director: Tawfick Espriella
Stylist, creative director, producer and casting director: Jimi Urquiaga
Set design: Ethan Lunkenheimer
Photography assistant: Diego Juan Vargas
Styling and production assistant: Chancey Bridges
Hair assistant: Jupiter Genesis
Location:
Noah Fecks Studio

Missleidy Rodrigez Hair: Serena Tea, Clothing: Christian Siriano, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Lashes: LashCorps, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kryolan, Urban Decay, Fenty Beauty, MAC Cosmetics, Trixie Cosmetics, KimChi Chic Beauty and Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics

Lana Ja'Rae Hair: Vidana, Clothing: Moschino, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kimchi Chic Beauty, Colourpop, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Fenty Beauty, Shiseido and Nars Cosmetics

Angel AuHair: Vidana, Clothing: Moschino, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kimchi Chic Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Fenty Beauty, Shiseido and Nars Cosmetics

VidanaHair: Vidana, Clothing: Jazzmint Dash, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kimchi Chic Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Fenty Beauty, Shiseido and Nars Cosmetics

Venus Mystique Hair: Vidana, Clothing: LaQuan Smith, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kimchi Chic Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Fenty Beauty, Shiseido and Nars Cosmetics

Serena TeaHair: Serena Tea, Clothing: Christian Siriano, Makeup: Mintty Makeup

Photography and director: Luke Dickey
Stylist, creative director, producer and casting director: Jimi Urquiaga
Set design: Anthony Morfa
Styling and production assistant: Chancey Bridges
Location: Noah Fecks Studio

Missleidy Rodrigez Hair: Dale Delaporte, Clothing: Moschino, Tights: Wolford, Jewelry: Laruicci, Shoes: Nalebe by Amina Means, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Lashes: LashCorps, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kryolan, MAC Cosmetics, Ruby May Cosmetics, Haus Laboratories, Shiseido, Trixie Cosmetics, KimChi Chic Beauty and Danessa Myricks

Virginia ThiccHair: MasayukiAkazawa, Clothing: Moschino, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kryolan, MAC Cosmetics, Ruby May Cosmetics, Haus Laboratories, Shiseido, Trixie Cosmetics, KimChi Chic Beauty and Danessa Myricks

Photography and director: Nick Hudson
Stylist, creative director, producer and casting director: Jimi Urquiaga
Set design: Ethan Lunkenheimer
Location: Noah Fecks Studio

Missleidy Rodrigez Hair: Dale Delaporte, Tights: Wolford, Jewelry: Laruicci, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Lashes: LashCorps, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kryolan, MAC Cosmetics, Trixie Cosmetics, KimChi Chic Beauty and Danessa Myricks

Dev DoeeTights: Wolford, Jewelry: Laruicci, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kryolan, MAC Cosmetics, Trixie Cosmetics, KimChi Chic Beauty and Danessa Myricks

RayneHair: Dale Delaporte, Tights: Wolford, Jewelry: Laruicci, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kryolan, MAC Cosmetics, Trixie Cosmetics, KimChi Chic Beauty and Danessa Myricks

Muscles Monty

Photography and director: Justin von Oldershausen
Stylist, creative director, producer and casting director: Jimi Urquiaga
Location: Treehouse Social Club and GOOD HEAD

Missleidy Rodrigez Hair: Dale Delaporte, Dress: Hanifa, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Lashes: LashCorps, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kryolan, MAC Cosmetics, One/size, Trixie Cosmetics, Sugar Pill, KimChi Chic Beauty and Danessa Myricks

Virginia Thicc Hair: Dale Delaporte, Dress: Pierretta Viktori, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kimchi Chic Beauty, One/size, Juvia's Place, MAC Cosmetics, Trixie Cosmetics and Kryolan

RoquéHair: MasayukiAkazawa, Dress: Em Jager, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kimchi Chic Beauty, One/size, MAC Cosmetics, Juvia's Place, Colourpop, Trixie Cosmetics and Kryolan

Sherry Poppins Hair: MasayukiAkazawa, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kimchi Chic Beauty, One/size, MAC Cosmetics, Colourpop, Trixie Cosmetics and Kryolan

Malisima La Mala Hair: Cynthus Perez, Nails: 1-800-Drip, Makeup: Laced AF Beauty, Mintty Makeup, One/size, Kimchi Chic Beauty, MAC Cosmetics, Colourpop, Trixie Cosmetics and Kryolan

Muscles MontyMakeup: Mintty Makeup, Kimchi Chic Beauty, One/size, Colourpop, Trixie Cosmetics and Kryolan

RichardMakeup: Mintty Makeup, Kimchi Chic Beauty, One/size, Colourpop, Trixie Cosmetics and Kryolan

Myster E Mel Kiki Makeup: Mintty Makeup, Kimchi Chic Beauty, One/size, Colourpop, Trixie Cosmetics and Kryolan

Photo by Max Mauro

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