From this week on you can shop the latest designer collaboration of H & M, this time with Moschino. To celebrate this, there is an exclusive party in New York. BV stylist Jody Van Geert is invited and run into a lot of stars. Who noticed the most? The eccentric transgender Amanda Lepore (50), who is a well-liked jetsetter in America.
Amanda was born as Armand, son of a bio-engineer and a schizophrenic mother. At a very young age, Armand knew that a girl was hiding in his boy’s body. “I did not understand why I had to wear boys’ clothes,” says Amanda. “I thought my parents were completely disturbed and therefore they thought I was their son instead of their daughter.”
In her early teens Amanda made costumes for a transgender friend, in exchange for female hormones she then administered herself. Her parents found out and were in all states. They removed their ‘son’ from school and hired a private teacher who came home. Amanda – then still Armand, so – was not allowed to attend ballet class, because that was too girlish. Armand had to become a good boy and was sent to a psychologist. He soon realized that the boy was a transgender person and that Armand could start a hormone therapy. Even though mom and dad thought it horrible.
Armand now appealed to Amanda. When she was seventeen she received permission to marry a man after a hell of a deal. Two years later she underwent a surgical operation. “The only thing I wanted was to become a beautiful girl and then work in a shopping centre,” she says. “But the process of becoming a woman was an extremely painful experience.”
There would still be countless interventions, including three breast enlargements and the application of buttock implants. She has been spraying her lips in recent years, she uses botox, underwent a nose correction, a facelift… “I have the most expensive body in the world,” says Amanda. She even had her lower ribs removed to obtain as narrow a waist as possible. “Just like actress Raquel Welch and pop and film diva Cher did,” says Amanda. “That intervention is illegal in the United States, I went to Mexico before that. Also, absolutely no pleasant operation, by the way…”
After her divorce Amanda Lepore moved to the place to be: New York. She was determined to make a career in showbiz. She joined The Club Kids, a group of flamboyant, eccentric New York personalities. In between the nightbreak she came to the brunt in a nail salon, as a sm-mistress and as a cosmetics saleswoman.
Amanda’s meeting with top photographer/film producer David Lachapelle changed everything. She became his muse, and in this way became a star in the New York party scene. Amanda appeared in fashion magazines, in the French Playboy, she got roles in films and music videos. She also graces the cover of the (Flemish) Lord’s or Acid album ‘Expand Your Head’.
In bed with Kanye
A year ago, Amanda revealed that she once shared the bed with rapper Kanye West, the husband of Kim Kardashian. When our magazine brought that out, Amanda liked our article on Instagram. Just to say: Amanda is who she is and is not ashamed of the things she does.
A few years ago, Amanda Lepore became involved in a car accident. It still costs a lot of make-up work every day to hide the scars. “But otherwise I associate make-up with being happy. When I put on my high heels and wear lipstick, I feel fantastic.”
BV-stylist Jody Van Geert, BFF of Josje Huisman, has met Amanda several times. Recently at the H & M/Moschino party in New York. “She is a nice, sweet woman,” says Jody. “But also, an icon, with a breathtaking look. Her hairstyle is literally concreted, but that does work. Amanda is there. She is one of the first to show transgender people in a positive way. In these times it is important that there are people like Amanda Lepore. She is a positive role model and you can only have respect for that.”
“Her looks are a gimmick, but Amanda is so much more than that”, says Jody. “She goes fully for who she is, and I admire that. And especially: she is so unlikely to talk to. And we both love leopard print, that creates a band anyway, huh. (laughs) By the way, Amanda has been invited every time to the presentations of the new collections by Moschino designer Jeremy Scott. Because she is a source of inspiration for him.”
Jody is not only enthusiastic about Amanda Lepore, the collaboration between H & M and Moschino is also his thing. “Glitters, leopard, nineties, it’s all in this collection. Awesome. Gers Pardoel, Josje, Ian Thomas and the sisters Leyers are also fans. By the way, Jeremy Scott from Moschino wants fashion to be fun. And through his collections he calls young people to make safe sex. Nice is not it?”
It may be clear: Jody is completely fan. From Amanda Lepore. And from Moschino. “At that party in New York I was approached by Jeremy Scott himself”, says Jody, beaming. “He told me that he is grateful to me because I often use his clothes for photo shoots. And when he said that … I was silent for a moment. Such a nice compliment!”