RuPaul’s Favorite Designer

Vogue reports:

Don’t let the monochrome T-shirt and jeans and the plain white garment bags fool you. Zaldy Goco designs in color. As the man behind every single one of the gowns RuPaul has worn on Drag Race, including tonight’s Season 10 finale look—Vogue HQ is partial to Aquaria—it’s a prerequisite of the job.

Zaldy and RuPaul—they both shed their last names decades ago—met in the late ’80s at La Palace de Beauté, a nightclub in Union Square, a space now a lot less outrageous than it was in those days. It currently houses a Petco. Zaldy, as he remembers it, approached RuPaul to talk clothes. “Ru had worn the same outfit two nights in a row, and when I brought it up, Ru told me, ‘When it works, it works.’ ” In the years since that fateful encounter, Zaldy has been largely responsible for making it work for RuPaul, starting with the looks he created for the “Supermodel” video that launched the drag star’s post-club career in 1993. Twenty-five years later, RuPaul says, “I wouldn’t go anywhere without Zaldy . . . . Since [“Supermodel,”] our communication has gone from shorthand to telepathic. Bottom line, Zaldy gets it.” And Ru isn’t the only one to think so. Last September, Zaldy picked up an Emmy for Outstanding Costumes for a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Programming from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. (He was nominated for the same award in 2016.)

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