Did you know that Ursula, the iconic sea witch in The Little Mermaid, was actually inspired by the real-life drag queen legend Divine?

Born Harris Glenn Milstead, the late Divine was once dubbed the “Drag Queen of the Century” for his larger-than-life theatrics and aesthetic. He starred in films such as Pink Flamingos, Hairspray and Lust in The Dust and now, just in time for Pride month, he’s the star of Loewe’s latest limited edition collection.

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Drag queen extraordinaire Divine, shot by Greg Gorman. Divine inspired Loewe’s latest limited edition release.

 

The Spanish maison has just released a compact limited-edition collection as a tribute to the drag icon, consisting of three T-shirts and a Cushion tote bag, printed with motifs of Divine’s performances over the years.

With his outrageous shock tactics (just google Pink Flamingos), Divine was a pioneer in changing the way drag queens were perceived. As Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson puts it, “he preempted the glorification of trash, the mix of high and low, the fantastic erasure of gender barriers,” paving the way for future queens such as RuPaul.

Fifteen per cent of the proceeds from this collection will go to Visual Aids, a non-profit arts organisation that raises awareness for the HIV cause, as well as assisting artists living with HIV through visual arts projects. Additionally, Loewe will be donating to Baltimore Pride. The LGBTQ+ organisation was chosen for two reasons – the city was Divine’s own hometown, and it’s also a Black-run entity.

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Divine’s personal makeup case, 1988. Photo: Greg Gorman

Joining the release of the collection is an online exhibition showcasing Divine’s personal objects, such as his makeup case, as well as a mermaid gown he donned in the ’70s. Both the collection and exhibition are now available online, with the latter running till end Sep.