Dita Von Teese is a popular American burlesque artist, model and actress.
As a teenager, Von Teese's mother took her to buy her first bra, made from plain white cotton, and gave her a plastic egg containing a pair of wrinkly, flesh-coloured tights. Von Teese says she was disappointed as she had been hoping to receive beautiful lacy garments and stockings, of the type she had glimpsed in her father's Playboy magazines. This fueled her passion for lingerie. She worked in a lingerie store as a salesgirl when she was fifteen, and eventually as a buyer. Some people believe that this is the store where she purchased her first corset, however Dita states in her book that she purchased her first corset in a sex shop. Von Teese has been fond of wearing elaborate lingerie such as corsets and basques with fully fashioned stockings ever since.
Von Teese began her career in a local strip club when she was eighteen. Disappointed with the lack of originality in all the other strippers' acts, Von Teese created a vintage-inspired outfit, with beehive hairstyle and elbow-length gloves coupled with a basque and seamed stockings, piquing the interest of the clientele
It was during this time at the strip club that she began some glamour modeling, before she eventually became a fetish model. Her retro pin-up look, frequently emulating Bettie Page in photo shoots, set her apart from most other fetish models.
Her official website, often referred to as one of the first model sites on the internet, was created in 1992. Von Teese has maintained meticulous care to own the copyright to the majority of her images, very aware of what became of models, such as Bettie Page, who did not.
Von Teese is also an occasional actress. In her early years she appeared in fetish-related, soft-core pornographic movies, such as Romancing Sara, Matter of Trust, in which she is billed as Heather Sweet, and also in two films by Andrew Blake: Pin Ups 2 and Decadence
She has also done various catwalk work. During Los Angeles Fashion Week, Spring 2004, she modeled for former-club kid Richie Rich's fashion label, Heatherette. In 2005 she appeared in the Autumn/Winter Ready-to-Wear show for Giambattista Valli, a former designer for Ungaro, in Paris. In the 2006 Milan Fashion Week, Von Teese was on the runway, opening for the Moschino diffusion label, Moschino Cheap & Chic, autumn/winter 2006/7 show. In 2007, she appeared twice in the Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture show during the Paris Fashion Week. Additionally, she has starred in several ad campaigns. She appeared in Vivienne Westwood's spring/summer 2005 collection adverts and became the face of Australian clothing range Wheels and Dollbaby for their 2006/7 Spring/Summer advertising campaign. Currently, she is a spokesmodel for MAC Cosmetics. Von Teese has appeared in Vanity Fair, Vogue, Elle, and international issues of nearly every fashion magazine. She has also campaigned on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and appeared in their ads. Most recently she has become the new face of Wonderbra