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“There’s Ellen! We love Ellen! Ellen is everything! We love Ellen! Woooo!” exclaimed a playful Pamela Anderson — in unison with a friend — on Thursday night inside Opening Ceremony in L.A.
It was noted photographer Ellen von Unwerth standing nearby and smiling, with a point-and-shoot in hand, snapping candids of an animated Anderson, who giggled coquettishly, her bleached-blond hair as big as ever. The Baywatch alum and Playboy Playmate was in a makeshift VIP area of the cult store, celebrating the launch of her vegan-friendly shoe and accessory collection in collaboration with French footwear designer Amélie Pichard.
“I have been fascinated with Pamela since I was 9 years old — it’s incredible to be here now,” shared Pichard. “I’ve built my label around a strong girl. A girl who loves to play with her sexuality. Pamela is a beach girl, a mother, a nature lover and then she also has her pinup side — she’s everything.”
Anderson had been a longtime muse of Pichard, who had referenced the ‘90s bombshell throughout her past collections. The two decided to work together after meeting through a mutual friend, they said.
“Pamela and I started to speak a year ago by phone,” continued Pichard. “She sent me a lot of [text messages] with image references, and I started to draw, and after that I said, ‘OK, I think I need to come to visit you and show you the drawings.'”
The criterion for Anderson, a devout vegan and animal activist, was for the line, which she financed, to be cruelty-free (something new for Pichard). “We need to save animals and wear sexy shoes that are alternatives to leather,” said Anderson, clad in a demure black turtleneck, black capri leggings, and pointy red metallic mules from the collection. “It’s been a labor of love. Amélie is the one who said not too high, not too sexy. She’s very responsible for how chic and sophisticated the shoes are.”
Inside the party, guests (which included Anderson’s son with ex-husband Tommy Lee, Brandon Thomas Lee; electronic musician Moby, known for his vegan lifestyle and support of animal rights; and an eclectic slew of Opening Ceremony cool kids) drank champagne as they previewed six shoes from the line. More will become available in time, including bags, explained Pichard.
“It’s all family,” Anderson later said of the collection’s campaign, shot by David Lachapelle, which showcases Anderson as a Barbie, donning those same metallic red mules paired with a red Baywatch-style bathing suit by Vivienne Westwood. “You know what, at this point in our lives, we just want to work with family.”
And what about that other shoot that’s currently making headlines? “It’s bittersweet, because I feel like it’s the end of an era,” said Anderson of her cover for Playboy’s last nude issue, shot by von Unwerth (who had nothing but praise for Anderson). “There’s no such thing as the girl next door anymore.”
BEST BUDS: Ellen von Unwerth, left, and Pamela Anderson.
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