Amélie Pichard and Pamela Anderson at the launch of their new vegan shoe line at Opening Ceremony. Photo: Getty Images/Courtesy
“I just want to have options for everybody,” Pamela Anderson told Yahoo Style at the launch party for her shoe collaboration with French designer Amélie Pichard on Thursday night. The duo’s new line is entirely vegan, created from materials like denim, raffia and faux metallic leather. For Anderson, who connected with Pichard via a mutual friend, the line is about opening up the possibilities for footwear.
“There just aren’t a lot of options,” she says, surrounded by partygoers at Los Angeles’ Opening Ceremony store, where the six pairs of co-designed shoes are sold. “I always wanted to have more vegan options that are sexy and fun, because there aren’t a lot. [Amélie] found all these incredible fabrics and these incredible things. If you’re on a boat or you go to a club these are the most practical, sexy shoes. Not too high, not too low that could work in St. Tropez or Malibu. They kind of marry two of my favorite cities together.”
The collection draws palpably from the ‘90s, harkening back to iconic looks that Anderson has embodied in the past. There are pumps with blocky Lucite heels and lace-up boots made from multi-colored denim. The shiny cherry red heels are even a reference to Anderson’s famous Baywatch bathing suit. This is, in fact, Anderson’s second vegan footwear line in the past few months. Earlier this fall the actress unveiled a collection of boots call Pammies, which are essentially UGG boots made without any animal products.
“They’re very forward-thinking fabrics, so sometimes they’re a little more expensive,” Anderson says about the downside to creating vegan footwear. “Because to slaughter an animal is much cheaper than trying to be innovative. The only complaints I hear about the boots is ‘Oh they’re so expensive and they should be available to everybody.’ But these are forward-thinking fabrics. They’re cruelty-free. It’s a science. We’re kind of at the cutting edge of it all and it’s exciting.”
A pair of slides from the Amélie Pichard and Pamela Anderson shoe line. Photo: Getty Images/Courtesy
It’s so cutting edge that Anderson is actually funding all the projects on her own. She hopes that cruelty-free fashion is a growing trend, but hasn’t yet seen a lot of fashion designers embracing it in their collections. “It’s still a battle,” she says. “I’ve created everything for these lines to be available to everybody. No one is funding these things except for me.”
Despite Anderson’s forays into the fashion world, she’s not actually that interested in fashion. She admits that her outfit this evening was hauled out of storage space and is “about twenty years old.” She doesn’t like to shop and her interest in these shoe lines stem from a desire to ease global environmental concerns. She returned from Moscow earlier this week where she spoke at the Kremlin about protecting endangered animal species, and seems to marvel at how a former Baywatch actress could be given such an important stage now.
“We had no idea how famous we were or how big the show was,” Anderson reflects, noting that she is uninvolved in the upcoming Baywatch remake film. “So it was great to use that platform to share the attention to something more meaningful, which, to me, was animals. And then turned to the environment. I spoke at the Kremlin. I was looking around going ‘Is anybody seeing this? This is crazy!’”
The actress is very invested in politics, especially those that impact the environment. And she wants our next president to share in her concern for the ramifications of climate change. “I love Bernie Sanders, but I’ll always support Hillary [Clinton] if she’s the Democratic nominee,” Anderson says. “We’re doomed if any Republican gets in. We’re screwed. It’s just ridiculous. It’s really embarrassing because I travel around the world and we don’t want to be that. It’s kind of a cartoon right now. Climate change is the one thing that’s the most important in any political agenda and it should be the most important thing to any of us, no matter where you’re from or who you are.”
Photographer Ellen von Unwerth and Pamela Anderson. Photo: Getty Images/Courtesy
It’s not all seriousness with Anderson, though. The party also coincided with the launch of her new Playboy cover – the magazine’s final nude cover as they implement the decision to ban nudity from the mag. It’s a historical moment for the iconic brand and one that feels full circle for Anderson as this marks her fourteenth time fronting Playboy. The spread was shot by Ellen Von Unwerth, who’s was also at the party supporting Anderson’s shoe launch.
“It was such a bittersweet moment,” Anderson admits of the cover. “It’s the end of an era. There’s no such thing as the girl next door. Everyone wants to be famous. Everyone’s taking pictures down their you-know-what’s. There’s no shame and there’s no naughtiness. There’s no voyeurism. It’s so out there. So how is Playboy supposed to compete? And [Hugh] Hefner was very smart in his lifetime that he wanted to end on a high note and saying ‘This is changing.’”
She pauses, then adds, “The Internet is crazy. If I could do one other thing I would stop the Internet. I think it’s good for information and I’m friends with a lot of people who are all about freedom of speech and information, but I really think it’s caused some problems in human interaction.”