Inside The 2022 Theme Of RuPaul's DragCon

For the uninitiated, RuPaul's DragCon is the biggest event of the year for fans of the hit reality show — it's essentially our Comic-Con if you will. "RuPaul's Drag Race" has been running successfully since 2009, with several spinoffs on the go, too. This includes the "All-Stars" edition, and international versions of the show from Italy, Spain, the U.K., and plenty more. As the show grew exponentially in popularity, it only made sense to capitalize on the success by bringing fans together in one place to meet their favorite queens, attend panels, and buy exclusive merchandise.

Per Vox, the first-ever event, held in 2015, brought in around 15,000 guests. By 2018, that number had tripled, with 45,000 hungry "Drag Race" fans descending upon the Los Angeles Convention Center. THR reported profits of $8 million between the 2018 events in L.A. and NYC, with 100,000 attendees across both. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's been a long wait for another DragCon but finally, this month, the event makes its triumphant return. 

The list of exhibitors is exhaustive, including everybody from "Drag Race" production company World of Wonder to PrettyLittleThing. Likewise, RuPaul's newest business venture, "House of Love Cocktails," will also be in attendance. Fans can expect to meet their favorite queens on the day, and, naturally, there's a sickening theme to get stuck into this year, too. 

This year's event celebrates drag's history with beauty

As a press release for DragCon 2022 points out, "Some of the biggest beauty trends are techniques first innovated by drag queens — baking, contouring, thick block eyebrows, overlining lips, highlighter, etc." Elle went even further, memorably quipping that, unbeknownst to us, we've actually learned "everything we know about beauty from drag queens." Through watching them painstakingly paint their faces on "Drag Race," in particular, it's become clear just how intertwined the two communities are. 

However, as celebrity makeup artist Renny Vasquez opined, "I don't think that the drag community gets the credit they deserve for the trends that are happening with makeup — so many trends started within the drag community," (via Elle). Vasquez added, "I would love to see drag get more recognition for it." This year's DragCon event looks set to correct this imbalance by showcasing a plethora of wildly different beauty brands, all of which are, crucially, owned by members or allies of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Beauty brands will be in attendance alongside the queens that make them sing

In the past, the high-profile likes of Wet N Wild, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and Mally Beauty all flocked to flog their wares at DragCon. This year, we can expect "Drag Race" stars to bring their own brands along, such as Kim Chi's "KimChi Chic Beauty," and Trixie Mattel's "Trixie Cosmetics." Some stars are set to promote their collaborations with other brands instead, like Blu Hydrangea, who did a line with B Perfect, and Gigi Goode, who's working with Christian Audette (per the DragCon press release). 

Anastasia Beverly Hills is also hosting a panel, entitled "Exploring Beauty," which looks at "how makeup can tell a story and be inspired by adventure." Fan-favorite queens including Detox and Trinity the Tuck will be providing their insight on the day. As "Drag Race" producer Fenton Bailey revealed in an exclusive interview with The List, "The makeup and beauty business is drag. They go together like peanut butter and jelly, drag and brands, and makeup and beauty brands, especially." 

This year's theme, then, fits as well as a custom "sequins" dress.

DragCon 2022 is set to be the fiercest event yet

In an exclusive interview with The List, World of Wonder's own Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato promised this year will be the best DragCon yet. Bailey enthused that the event will be "bigger, better, more gag-worthy than ever before. People are ready for it." Bailey added, "It's going to be really popular and busy, but the thing is, we have more queens coming from more parts of the world than we've ever had." For instance, "U.K. vs The World" winner Blu Hydrangea will be in attendance, alongside fan favorites Baga Chipz and Cheryl Hole, and that's just the Brits. "Drag Race Holland" Season 1 winner Envy Peru will also be poised to meet fans during the weekend of May 13 to 15.

"I'm very excited that a lot of the queens are coming from those franchises," Bailey shared. "They're going to meet other queens, and also they're going to meet their fans." Moreover, "Drag Race" alumni who didn't get to enjoy their newfound fame thanks to the pandemic will get special attention. "Season 13 and Season 12, because they never had an actual physical reunion, they'll be brought together and those will all be hosted by Ts Madison," Barbato noted. "They'll be these cool reunion panels ... really dynamic and fun." The pink carpet will see stars from across the franchise strutting their stuff, too, with Bailey describing it as "an epic runway fashion show gag-worthy event."