I have no idea how I found the Black Pinup Models Facebook page and magazine, but I'm so glad I did. It's great to scroll through all the beautiful women of all shapes, dressed up and looking gorgeous. It kinda goes without saying that sites and mags like Delicious Dolls don't feature a lot of models of color, which is a shame, because they're definitely out there. After ogling the beauties of Black Pinup Models, I figured it was time to talk to the founder, Candace Michelle of Dallas, Texas.
What inspired you to finally start Black Pinups?
Candace: I'm an old soul and I've always been into history since I was a kid, so that's where it all started. Two years ago I was online and I just happened to type in "black pinups" and I'm like, I wonder if there are any black pinup models out there? I didn't see any. The only one I really came across was Angelique Noire and I followed her on Tumblr and then I found Ashleeta. Then I friended them on Facebook and started a page and it's been going ever since. That was three years ago. January 12, 2012, when I still lived In North Hollywood, California.
At what point did you say, "I have to start a magazine"?
I think it was around October of that year and I went on another pinup page and this voice said, 'Hey, you should come out with a magazine!' I had no idea what I was doing; I went to school for fashion design, but I just slowly put together a magazine and I made the announcement the following year. My sister, thank God, she told me that to create a magazine, you have to have InDesign, so I went from there. It was slow, but I launched the magazine December 27, 2013.
Tell me more about your background.
Fashion has always been in my family. All the women on both sides of my family made clothes and quilted and cross-stitched, so I was always busy with my hands. So, I just decided one day I wanted to be a fashion designer. My style is kind of in between J. Lo and the classic Kate Middleton styles.
|Candace with models|
What attracts you to both of those styles?
I love sparkly things, and I love how J. Lo is with her clothing. I'm a real big fan of Selena, and I feel like if Selena were still here, she and J. Lo would have similar styles. My mom raised my sister and I to be Audrey Hepburn and little Princess Diana, so I have that classic style that's always in. And because I'm into the pinup world, I think that style is adorable.
Do you collect vintage?
Not vintage clothing. I collect a lot of antiques. That's why my apartment's not furnished. I can't find stuff that fits my style online.
Have you gotten in front of the camera?
Only once. I want to do it again, but it's just time and money. I do want to set up photoshoots this year. I want to do five. I don't know what photographers I want to work with because I'm a fan of so many photographers.
How did your first shoot go?
I felt fine. I wasn't nervous. We were copying Jean Harlow. I think I was more of a director than the photographer was, like, "Why is this not looking the way I wanted it to?" I watched a lot of "America's Next Top Model", so I kind of had that modeling experience in a way. I took a lot of pictures of myself posing, working on the facial expressions.
How do you pick the photos that get featured?
They have to be professional, and I pretty much pick anybody. Everyone's accepted. As long as it's a time period before 1980. I don't really share a lot of selfie pictures of the girls.
Do you have any involvement in burlesque, car shows?
I don't have any experience with burlesque. I just go to watch. There just aren't enough car shows in Texas. In LA, there was a car show or a rockabilly show every weekend. There are a few car shows in the summer in Dallas. Everything's a lot slower in Dallas as opposed to LA.
Have you been to Viva Las Vegas?
I keep trying to go but it hasn't worked out. I wanted to go last year but I had just launched my magazine. I wanted to go for fun before I started the page but now that I have the magazine, a lot of the ladies are going and they keep asking me and they definitely want to have a meetup. There's the whole thing of setting up a party and getting everyone together. Oh dear, it's very overwhelming. I'm still not 100% sure how to do that yet.
What comes next for Black Pinups?
I have five pages of what I want. There's going to be the calendar and then I just started another page called Pinups of Color that includes all ladies that are ethnic. I'm still not sure if I'm going to do a magazine for that. We'll see. I want to work on a documentary but we'll see what happens. That might be next year.