Tia Kofi Spills the Tea on Jaw-Dropping Costs of Drag Race UK vs the World Wardrobe

Tia Kofi Spills the Tea on Jaw-Dropping Costs of Drag Race UK vs the World Wardrobe
Image: Image: Instagram @Tiakofi

Fresh off her victory as the champion of  Drag Race UK vs The World Season 2, Tia Kofi has spilled the tea on the staggering sum she invested in outfits for the show.

The drag star spoke to George Clarke and Max Balegde on The Useless Hotline podcast, where she was asked about the cost of her outfits for the season.

Her outfits included eight runway looks, six lip-sync performances, and attire for entrances and the reunion.

Throughout her journey, she admitted to having spent over £20,000 ($38400 AUD). 

Tia Kofi spills the tea

Kofi  explained that the success of the franchise had led to designers charging higher prices for their work, causing the cost of the outfits to skyrocket.

“The designers who made one of the queen’s looks from season one [of Drag Race UK vs the World] made the majority for a very good fee. I think it was under £1,000 ($1,250), because they knew her”, she said. 

“That same design team now has a minimum spend of £2,500 ($3,100) per item. I think the wedding dress I wore cost me £3,500 ($4,390), and that’s one outfit. That doesn’t include the wig, the makeup, the shoes, the gloves, the nails…”, Kofi added. 

Fans of the drag star took to social media to share their thoughts on the staggering costs of her outfits. One X user wrote, “…the fact she noted the cost of drag race in the uk and this being the first season with a cash prize is even more wild…imagine spending £20k, winning and coming home with just badges”. 

“And yea, you may accumulate more from the exposure over a shorter period of time, but putting yourself in that much debt even for the short term is just so mind blowing”, they added. 

Financial Realities for Drag Performers

In a Reddit thread discussing the financial burdens of drag queen performers, one user empathised for the challenges faced by drag queens.

“It is gutting that Ru ever made the H&M comment when there was already existing pressure on the queens to present huge looks. I’m glad Tia got to experience a cash prize that offset the financial stress of her outfit costs, but very sad for all the queens that have been on the show being told to elevate their looks when they would have obviously been doing their best financially”, user @iampiste wrote. 

The user discussed the expenses associated with dressmaking, emphasising that even without hiring professionals, the costs can accumulate significantly.

“Anyone who thinks even queens being able to sew is low cost, needs to see how much dressmaking goodies cost – the material, good quality thread, the accessories/embellishments”

“It all adds up, and if you’re learning to sew you’ll no doubt be using up a lot of resources to practice on”, they wrote. 

The High Price of Glamour

In 2022, fellow drag queen Courtney Act discussed her most expensive look with the Courier Mail. 

“It can be $10,000 for the dress alone! Plus $3500-$4000 for the wig and a few thousand for the shoes. I guess $10,000 to $15,000 for a “stage-stopping” look!”, she said. 

Season 16 contestant Hershii LiqCour-Jeté revealed that she had to sell her car to fund some of the looks intended for the Drag Race runway. LiqCour-Jeté was the first queen to leave the latest season. 

In a TikTok live session earlier in January, she addressed the financial challenges associated with participating in the Drag Race runway.

Fans of the show voiced their opinions on Instagram. One individual proposed that the show provide drag queens with a budget for purchasing looks and supplies before filming, while another shared their surprise at the financial burdens.

“What other competition show makes you pay for your supplies? Imagine going on Hell’s Kitchen and having to buy all the food, and kitchen equipment!”, expressed Instagram user @daijah.bleu. 

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