What do you usually expect to see at the annual San Diego Comic Con? World premiere trailers? Check. Celebrity Guests? Check. Comic creators? Check. Cosmetics?
Well, up until this year, you would not find any cosmetic displays or dealers promoting their upcoming product to the masses that attend SDCC. Vampyre Cosmetics is the first cosmetics company to be granted space on the convention floor, and will make the most of their opportunity to connect with cosplayers and goth fans worldwide at 2022’s San Diego Comic Con.
Get to know a little more about Rachel Clinesmith and her Vampyre empire in this exclusive interview.
How did you first become interested in the world of vampires and Goth culture?
Rachel Clinesmith: I remember when I was six years old, I had a 2-XL Robot and a cassette tape about Dracula that sparked my first interest in vampires. From there, I started looking up the history of the character and the real Vlad Tepes, reading Dark Realms Magazine, learning about the Vampire Ball in New York and Los Angeles, and all aspects of the subculture.
At the time, I was a Kansas Goth kid, and started doing make-up at the Clinique counter with my mother. I become very emotionally attached to doing make-up, as I could do what I wanted to and look how I wanted to look.
How do you come to start your own business?
Clinesmith: I started my first line in 2011 and it became profitable after seven years. We ended up going our separate ways, but it led to the formation of Alchemy Mythosis. We originally started making and formulating the make-up by hand, but it became very time consuming and was not a sustainable way to grow the company. We do continue to make our tentacle brushes in house from 3-D printers.
You have a lot of licenses that would appeal to any horror, goth, or vampire fan.
Clinesmith: We currently have Vincent Price and Cthulhu Temptations, and our Winchester Mystery House and Emily the Strange products will be coming soon. We are also working on an exclusive for Hot Topic based on Emily the Strange.
We also applied to the Walmart open-call, so you may be seeing our make-up in Walmart soon.
How did you secure an elusive spot at San Diego Comic Con?
Clinesmith: SDCC did not allow cosmetics on the floor, but artist Echo Chernik asked if she could have us at his booth (#4600) and they made a first time exception based on the pop culture nature of our line.
You also publish Vampyre Magazine, correct?
Clinesmith: Yes and our latest issue features Juliet Landau of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. The magazine focuses on the vampire subculture, goth culture, music; the entire Goth world. We hope to have the magazine on the stands at Barnes and Noble and Books A Million soon!
Since your businesses are so focused on vampire fashion, which vampire is the most stylish?
Clinesmith: That is a tough question…I would say Lestat and Spike from Buffy.
Those are two very different styles!
Clinesmith: Yes they are, with Lestat’s Baroque, historical style and Spike’s more modern vampire esthetic, but I love them both. I remember when the Queen of the Damned film was released, I just loved it. I know that a lot of people don’t like that movie, but I was certainly the target audience when it was released in 2002.
Speaking of your own experiences as a teen interested in Goth culture, do you see a huge change now in terms of accessibility for young people?
Clinesmith: We used to have to wait until Halloween to stock up on black lipstick and black eyeliner. You couldn’t find it any other time of the year where I lived. When Hot Topic started appearing in malls in the late 90’s it helped out.
It wasn’t easy being a Goth kid in those days. I would get called “Columbine” or “Satan”, but you did what you had to do. Vampyre Cosmetics are currently sold in over 80 indie stores around the country and I am also excited to have our product in Hot Topic soon. I don’t believe in gate keeping, and it allows people to be themselves and find a community.
If you’d like to learn more about Vampyre Cosmetics, check out their website right here.