It’s no secret that the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race have brought some amazing fashions to the runway.
And, since imitation truly is the most sincere form of flattery, a canine sensation has gained fame with some amazing recreations of the dolls’ iconic looks. RuPawl is an adorable pooch who has taken social media by storm with her tributes to season 14 queens like Willow Pill, Daya Betty and Lady Camden, All-Star Ginger Minj and more.
This photogenic pooch won The Webby Award for Best Social: Animals at the 25th Annual Webby Awards Internet Celebration in 2021 and has garnered legions of fans courtesy of her fabulous looks. We had a chance to chat with RuPawl (and the humans behind the fashions). Get to know this fashionable legend in the making!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, RuPawl.
I am RuPawl, broadly considered the world’s first doggie drag queen. My out-of-drag name is Xóchitl (flower). I’m a California Grrrl, a rescue pup who was adopted from the San Francisco SPCA in 2014. A recent Embark DNA test showed that on top of being 100% THAT BITCH, I’m also a mix of chihuahua, poodle, Australian cattle dog, and miniature pinscher, amongst other breeds.
From a young age I developed a penchant for dressing up, and for posing for photos. As soon as I see a camera or cell phone pointed at me, I pose and flash my signature smile. I think this made me perfect for going into drag and super modeling.
How about the humans behind the legend?
My hoomans are J.R. Lizárraga (aka Dr. ThemBot) and Arturo Cortez. They are both artists, educators, and current college professors. Dr. ThemBot is the creative force behind the creation of my looks, photography, and editing, and the managing of my social media.
How did RuPawl become the doggie drag icon we all know and love?
RuPawl came to true fruition thanks to a short write-up by the iconic James St. James, who is a contributor to the WOW Report (from the World of Wonder producers of Drag Race). I started toying with drag before then, but he was the one who gave me my drag name RuPawl.
What inspired you to take to social media with your amazing transformations?
We decided that we wanted to spread the joy and love of drag! But also wanted to make sure that we supported LGBTQI and social justice issues with our social media presence. Because drag is political, even when a pup does it!
How much time does it take for you to create your looks?
A look can take anywhere from 3-10 hours to recreate. This includes planning, pattern-making, sewing, other construction, and wig making/styling.
The photo shoots actually never take more than 5 minutes. This is to ensure my comfort. But trust me, I’m well compensated (many treats!) during the shoot. And as soon as the backdrop is up, the lights are on, and the camera is set up, I jump up there and am ready to model!
What was the toughest look for you to recreate?
Almost all of the look recreations take a fair amount of planning. Daya Betty’s promo look, for example, required some 3-D printing and other customized parts in order to make it look as fierce as the original! But the most difficult ones have been the ones that need some engineering, like the pop collar on Lady Camden’s promo look, and the pop-up arms on Willow Pill’s chaps look.
What has been your favorite look so far?
This is a tough question!!! One of our past faves is definitely Ginger Minj’s Pop Art look from All Stars Season 6. But in terms of Season 14?….Ah don’t make me choose. Okay, the Maddy Morphosis Rain Cloud is pretty fierce. Kornbread and Deja’s Promo looks were also a blast to make and wear. Ugh, but you can’t say that my recent one of Angeria’s Heart Look is not iconic. Lol, I guess I didn’t really answer this question that well!
What has the queens’ reaction been like?
The queens go absolutely crazy over the recreated looks. We reach out to them as soon as we begin planning an outfit just to keep them posted of the progress, with pictures. They all have been so grateful and we enjoy showing them love.
You’ve done such beautiful tributes to the season 13 and 14 queens. Are there any “classic” looks from previous seasons you’d like to tackle?
Yes! A classic one would be Vivacious’s (Season 6) Ornacia. Another iconic look would Violet Chachki’s Fall Runway from Season 7. Again, so many to choose from!
Are there any other artists or performers who you’d like to bring to life?
Yes! We would love to do homages to our icons Dolly Parton, Prince, Madonna, Mariah Carey, just to name a few.
If you can share, what are you planning on bringing to RuPaul’s DragCon?
We’re excited to come back to DragCon! We will have some fierce merch for fans. We also will have photo/selfie ops, and some of my most iconic recreations will be on display!
Do you have a message for your fans?
Thanks for showing us so much love! I hope my fans know how happy and spoiled I am. But if there is a message that I really want to spread is one of love! And, as I say, “Remember, if you can’t lick yourself, how in the heck are you gonna lick somebody else?” Be your full authentic self and you will find your community.