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Zaldy Goco (born 1966),[1] also known mononymously as Zaldy,[2] is a Filipino American[3] fashion designer. In 1995, he was featured as a model in a British television advertisement for Levi's.[4][5] Zaldy was named one of Out magazine's Out 100 in 2006.[6] He was the costume designer for Michael Jackson's "This Is It" tour,[7] Lady Gaga's "Monster Ball Tour,[8] and Britney Spears's "Femme Fatale Tour".[9] Zaldy designed the costumes for the Cirque du Soleil shows Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, Michael Jackson: One, and Volta.[10] He was also the head designer for Gwen Stefani's fashion line L.A.M.B.[11] He has received four Emmy nominations, winning in 2017, 2018, and 2019 for Outstanding Costumes for a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Programming due to his work on RuPaul's Drag Race.[12]

Salvador Goco

1966 (age 52–53)[1]
Cheshire, Connecticut, United States
NationalityFilipino American
CitizenshipUnited States
OccupationFashion designer
Awards2017, 2018 and 2019 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Costumes for a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Programming

Early lifeEdit

Zaldy was born in Cheshire, Connecticut; his first name is Salvador but his parents called him Zaldy from birth. His grandmother sparked his interest in fashion.[13]


Zaldy was a student at Parsons School of Design in the 1980s, though he completed his studies in 1990 at the Fashion Institute of Technology.[14]


Zaldy walked runways for Thierry Mugler, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Vivienne Westwood modeling women's clothing; he also modeled men's clothing in a Japanese advertising campaign for Paul Smith.[13] In 1995, Zaldy, in drag, starred in a Levi's television commercial. This advertisement was banned in the United States and was only shown late at night in the United Kingdom.[15] This Levi's advertisement was noted as marking a rise in the prominence of drag in pop culture.[4][16]

Photoshoots and red carpetsEdit

Various celebrities have worn Zaldy's clothing in notable photoshoots or on red carpets. Beyoncé wore a Zaldy dress on the cover of the November 2005 issue of Vanity Fair.[17] Film producer Lisa Maria Falcone, producer for 127 Hours, wore a Zaldy dress to the 83rd Academy Awards.[18][19] Kesha wore a Zaldy dress to the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.[20] Chloe x Halle both wore Zaldy to the 2016 BET Hip Hop Awards; their stylist for the event, Zerina Akers, said: "I always like to use young, new talent, because I feel like we see so much of the same thing in fashion and on the red carpet. I thought it was fresh."[21]

Stage and concert performancesEdit

The first stage costume Zaldy designed was for Lady Miss Kier, singer of Deee-Lite; she saw him at a club wearing a catsuit studded with mirrors and asked him to make her a similar outfit.[22] His first time designing stage outfits for an entire musical group was for Scissor Sisters's 2006 performance for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.[23] Zaldy later designed the costumes for the Japanese band Exile.[24]


In the late 1980s, Zaldy met the American drag queen RuPaul at a night club in Union Square, Manhattan.[25] He has designed his drag outfits since 1992.[26][27] RuPaul wears Zaldy's outfits in the music video for his 1993 single "Supermodel (You Better Work)" and the upcoming Netflix series AJ and the Queen.[25]

Zaldy designed RuPaul's suit for the 2019 Met Gala.[28]

RuPaul's Drag RaceEdit

Zaldy designs the gowns for RuPaul on RuPaul's Drag Race. He has three other team members and an assortment of other craftspeople such as painters, beaders, and graphic designers.[29][30]

For his work on Drag Race, Zaldy has received four Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including two wins, in the category of Outstanding Costumes for a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Programming. He was first nominated for the 68th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards for the season 8 premiere "Keeping it 100!"[31] and received a second nomination, alongside Perry Meek, for the 69th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards for the season 9 premiere "Oh. My. Gaga!"[32] Zaldy and Meek won this Emmy.[33][34] He received a third nomination in this category in 2018 for the season 10 premiere "10s Across the Board".[35] In 2019 he also won an Emmy for the episode "Trump: The Rusical" alongside Art Conn, who designed Michelle Visage's outfit.[36][37]

He also appeared as a guest judge alongside Kesha on the season 9 episode "Makeovers: Crew Better Work".[38]

Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ a b Feldman 2005. "Zaldy, 38"; Van Meter 2014. "It was early August [...] Zaldy was a preternaturally young-looking 48."
  2. ^ Van Meter 2014. "Zaldy (he abandoned the use of his last name in high school)".
  3. ^ Kedves 2013, p. 116; Nepales 2009.
  4. ^ a b White, Roland (September 20, 1995). "What a Drag". The Sunday Times (London) (8925). p. 14.
  5. ^ "Video Ad Library: Levi Strauss & Co. - Levi's - Taxi".
  6. ^ Breen, Matthew; Epstein, Jeffrey; Hicklin, Aaron; Jamieson, Graeme; Shenitz, Bruce; Tang, Jo-ey (December 2006). "OUT 100". Out. 15 (6). pp. 78–136.
  7. ^ Ortega, Kenny (director) (2009). Michael Jackson's This Is It. Columbia Pictures. Event occurs at 1:44:48. Costume Designer for Michael Jackson: Zaldy
  8. ^ Kennedy, Ted (director) (2011). Britney Spears Live: The Femme Fatale Tour. HBO. Event occurs at 1:52:26. Costumes designed by [...] Zaldy
  9. ^ Gibson, Laurieann (director) (2011). Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden. Media Blasters. Event occurs at 1:24:52. Zaldy: Costume Designer
  10. ^ "The Costume Workshop". Cirque du Soleil. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved June 1, 2017. Zaldy Goco: Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL and Michael Jackson ONE and VOLTA
  11. ^ Ferla, Ruth La (September 15, 2005). "A Queen of Pop Is Ready For Roseland, but Not to Sing". The New York Times. 154 (53, 338). p. G6. Archived from the original on May 29, 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  12. ^ "Zaldy Goco". Emmys. Archived from the original on September 22, 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Van Meter 2014.
  14. ^ Feldman 2005.
  15. ^ Carter 2007.
  16. ^ Ekins, Richard (1997). Male Femaling: A Grounded Theory Approach to Cross-dressing and Sex-changing. London: Routledge. p. 164. ISBN 9780415106252.
  17. ^ "Caption: On the Cover". Vanity Fair. No. 543. November 2005. p. 88. Beyonce Knowles wears a dress by Zaldy and a bracelet by Louis Vuitton. Hair and makeup products by L'Oral. Hair by Kimberly Kimble. Makeup by Francesca Tolot. Manicure by Lisa Logan. Styled by Andrea Lieberman. Photographed exclusively for V.F. by Patrick Demarchelier in New York City, August 11, 2005.
  18. ^ McLean, Bethany (July 2011). "Falcone Quest". Vanity Fair. Vol. 53 no. 7. This year, when 127 Hours was nominated for six Oscars, Lisa Maria wore to the award ceremony an elegant, one-shouldered column dress that was designed by her longtime friend Zaldy Goco.
  19. ^ Nicholson, Lucy (February 27, 2011). Lisa Maria Falcone, executive producer for best picture nominee "127 Hours", wearing a dress by Zaldy Goco, arrives at the 83rd Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, February 27, 2011 (Photograph). Reuters. Image ID: GM1E72S0LLH01.
  20. ^ Johnson, Zach (September 12, 2012). "Ke$ha Unveils Glam Makeover at MTV Video Music Awards!". Us Weekly. "I wanted to look naked with some glitz on my bits," Ke$ha said of the Zaldy dress, which she accessorized with Prada shoes, a Marie Todd ring and Karma El Khalil rings and earrings.
  21. ^ Bauck, Whitney (June 27, 2016). "Chloe x Halle Stylists Dish on the Teens' Coordinating BET Awards Looks: Exclusive". Billboard. Chloe was in a Zaldy dress and Steiger shoes. Halle wore a Zaldy dress as a top over Levi’s Jeans with Off-White booties, and they both wore Messika jewelry. I always like to use young, new talent, because I feel like we see so much of the same thing in fashion and on the red carpet.
  22. ^ Kedves 2013, p. 121.
  23. ^ Schweiger, Melissa (May 4, 2006). "Golden Boy: An hour before the Scissor Sisters were due to hit the stage to close out the Coachella Music and Arts Festival Sunday night, the band's trailer vibrated with energy". Women's Wear Daily. Vol. 191 no. 95. p. 4.
  24. ^ "EXILE concert tour expected to draw 1.1 million fans". Japan Today. July 12, 2010. Meanwhile, Filipino fashion designer Zaldy Goco will be in charge of their costumes for the tour. Zaldy is well known for designing outfits for big stars, such as the late singer Michael Jackson and Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, 66. It is the first time for Goco to produce costumes for Asian stars. He said his costumes will match the tour's title of "FANTASY."
  25. ^ a b Phelps, Nicole (June 28, 2018). "Zaldy Is the Designer RuPaul Wouldn't Go Anywhere Without". Vogue.
  26. ^ Stransky, Tanner (October 29, 2012). "RuPaul: A 'Drag Race' Dressing Room Tour". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  27. ^ RuPaul (2010). "Acknowledgments: Zaldy". Workin' It! RuPaul's Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style. Harper Collins. For the past eighteen years, he has created my most extraordinary ensembles.
  28. ^ Mizoguchi, Karen (May 6, 2019). "Sissy That Walk! RuPaul Fiercely Sashays on Met Gala Red Carpet for the First Time". People. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  29. ^ Hendrickson, Paula (June 19, 2017). "Emmys: It Takes a Village to Make Reality Competitions Pop". Variety.
  30. ^ Newbold, Alice (May 6, 2019). "Why RuPaul Decided Not To Attend The Met Gala 2019 In Drag". British Vogue. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  31. ^ a b Television Academy (July 14, 2016). "68th Emmy® Awards Nominations for Programs Airing June 1, 2015 – May 31, 2016" (PDF) (Press release).
  32. ^ a b Television Academy (July 13, 2017). "2017 Emmy® Awards Nominations for Programs Airing June 1, 2016 – May 31, 2017" (PDF) (Press release).
  33. ^ Romano, Nick (10 September 2017). "2017 Creative Arts Emmy Winners Include Carpool Karaoke, RuPaul's Drag Race, SNL". Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  34. ^ "2017 Creative Arts Awards Saturday". Television Academy. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  35. ^ a b Television Academy (July 12, 2018). "2018 Emmy® Awards Nominations for Programs Airing June 1, 2017 – May 31, 2018" (PDF) (Press release).
  36. ^ a b Television Academy. "2019 Emmy® Awards Nominations Press Release" (PDF) (Press release). Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  37. ^ a b Littleton, Cynthia (15 September 2019). "Creative Arts Emmys: Full Winners List for Night 1". Variety.
  38. ^ Sava, Oliver (May 26, 2017). "The Drag Race crew jumps in front of the camera for the makeover challenge". A.V. Club.
  39. ^ Sanchez, Omar (8 September 2018). "Creative Arts Emmys: Winners List (Updating Live)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 September 2018.

Works citedEdit

  • Carter, Lee (June 3, 2007). "Everyone loves Zaldy". The Independent (901). pp. 52–53.
  • Feldman, Jenny (July 2005). "Notes From the Underground: Zaldy Goco Spins a Darkly Beautiful Signature Collection of Victorian-Goth Coats and Dresses". Elle. 20 (11). p. 38.
  • Kedves, Jan (2013). "Zaldy: Costume Designer, New York & Las Vegas". Talking Fashion: From Raf Simons to Nick Knight in their own Words. Munich: Prestel. pp. 116–121. ISBN 978-3-7913-4823-0.
  • Nepales, Ruben V. (October 31, 2009). "Spotlight on two Fil-Ams in 'This Is it'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. p. G1. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  • Van Meter, William (September 7, 2014). "Zaldy, Onetime Club Kid, Model and Costumer to Pop Stars, Returns to Fashion Week". The New York Times. 163 (56, 617). p. 18ST. Retrieved June 1, 2017.

General referencesEdit

External linksEdit