The founder of Dragun beauty, Nikita Dragun has had an unbelievable journey. From being a closeted teen to running a business empire of her own, this transgender queen has achieved what most only dream about. But why did Dragun school Victoria’s Secret? And what made that happen?
Dragun beauty is a transgender-specific beauty line. Dragun’s life inspired her to do something big for her community. And she has achieved it. She is such a powerhouse of hope and strength to the trans youth and the trans community.
The First Step, YouTube
Although she began her YouTube channel in 2013, Dragun came out to her followers in 2015 as a transgender woman. She shared her story with her many followers. The video is still one of her most-watched videos. And decided to dedicate one Tuesday every month to her transformation. She justified why she finally had to come out to her followers too.
“It was really out of frustration. I wanted to transition, and I had all these questions, and couldn’t find answers anywhere online.”
When Dragun launched a YouTube channel for makeup tutorials she soon began to receive “small brand deals with makeup companies”. And this inspired her to move to Los Angeles. Where she got a degree in business and marketing for cosmetics at the Los Angeles Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM).
She realised she was headed in what was the right direction for her. She “decided to start taking Instagram and YouTube seriously”. And what’s more amusing is that her FIDM classes even studied some of her videos without realizing she was a student.
Born in 1996 in Springfield, Virginia, Dragun learnt that she was different from the others at an early age.
When she was in elementary school, she would sometimes try out a dress and look cute. But after her teacher disapproved and called her parents on her, Dragun concluded it was too risky. She knew it was difficult for “boys” to put on a dress and look cute. According to Forbes, she said, “I knew I was different and there were certain things that I couldn’t show or I’d be bullied or teased”.
And Dragun says that things changed by the time she got to high school. She says, “I was just the most feminine gay guy [in high school], so I would dress in tight jeans, lashes, a little purse, etc. People just accepted me.”
Dragun’s journey had only begun. After she was done with high school, she says she was accepted to NYU on a full scholarship. And that she didn’t go. But what she did instead gave her the power to finally be who she wants to, and perform the gender she opts for. She piled up her courage and put on a dress! She decided to look cute again. And then followed up with a fake ID, where she changed her name to Nicole. And she went to pubs in Washington D.C. and realized just how well she passed as a woman.
Dragun Schools Victoria’s Secret
As a voice of reason, and a voice from the transgender community, Nikita spared no opportunity to fight for equal rights. And Victoria’s Secret met its match when they passed transphobic comments about hiring someone who was trans.
Victoria’s Secret claimed that transgender women would not be able to sell a fantasy. And Nikita Dragun proved them wrong and how.
dear Victoria’s Secret,
you said trans women can’t sell the “fantasy” so here i am as a TRANS WOMAN selling the FANTASY! 👼🏻 pic.twitter.com/rKQHp7SLNq
— Nikita Dragun (@NikitaDragun) December 5, 2018
Dragun’s video came out so strong that the chief marketing officer Ed Razek apologized to her. He was also the one who initially said “the company would never feature a trans woman or large-bodied models in its fashion shows because such women aren’t part of anyone’s fantasies”.
Soon after, Victoria’s Secret hired a transgender model and Ed Razek stepped down as the CMO.
Dragun did not see this coming. She did not know that her video would cause such a stir. She said that she only wanted to use her social media following to “make a difference and stand up for my community!” And after Victoria’s Secret hired a transgender woman model, she even urged her fans to give them a second chance.
And at this point, she had enough to get her building her own empire. She had the qualifications, the fan following, and the sense of style that would take her to the top. And finally, in March 2019, she released “Dragun Beauty”.
Dragun Beauty came up with the first two vegan, cruelty- and paraben-free products packaged in a purple “Dragun egg”. According to Queerty, the product design was based on the “cocoon-like” bandages from her facial feminization surgeries. And within the first 12 hours of launching, Dragun Beauty was sold out of its entire cosmetic line.
Nikita Dragun is an icon, an inspiration for the transgender community. And she took complete advantage of all her privileges to get herself to a position where she can actually help the transgender community. Go Dragun! Much love to you!