Shea Couleé (she/they) is a non-binary, internationally-renowned drag superstar, recording artist, model, and actor, known for their fashion-forward editorial looks, expanding their artistry and brand into many different spaces, and their consistent use of the art of drag and costuming as a medium for larger storytelling, having been applauded by Vogue for doing so. Widely celebrated as an activist focused on uplifting LGBTQIA+ individuals and the BIPOC community, they have countlessly shared how important it is for them to harness their career in drag to inspire, calling their drag a “love letter to Black women.”
Couleé is the Season 5 winner (2020) of VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars and finished a finalist on Season 7 (2022), the special all-winners edition, where they brought their fiercest competition and became the first queen to ever wear haute couture on the show’s runway. They were praised by Vogue and W Magazine for bringing royalty-worthy couture to the show, in addition to receiving the highest remarks from their supermodel idol Naomi Campbell who called their walk “perfection” in a heartfelt shared moment between the two.
In the final challenge of All Stars 7, Couleé slayed house down boots with their Janet Jackson-esque performance to their original song “Your Name,” labeled by Vulture as “pure talent.” The Tab described the choreo-heavy routine (self-choreographed by Couleé) as “unclockably perfect, a Super Bowl Halftime Show ready performance of stratospheric levels of excellence.” In addition to “Your Name,” Coulee released another lush disco track, “Let Go,” as the second single from their debut album via their label HausDown Records expected early 2023. Ran by queer people for all people, HausDown Records aims to serve as a recording label that represents music from all walks of life.
During the season premiere of All Stars 5, Couleé gave the audience a taste of their single “Collide” featuring rapper Mykki Blanco with a fierce pole-dancing routine in an all-red leather ensemble. A few months later, Couleé co-directed and released the “Collide” music video on OnlyFans, paving the way as the first Drag Race alum to partner with the platform. Couleé worked with Vogue, exclusively breaking down the custom-created looks and how Couleé brought the concept to life.
Acting has long been Couleé’s passion and as their time on Drag Race came to an end, they strutted out of the werkroom and into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was recently announced that Couleé will star as a series regular in the highly-anticipated Marvel/Disney+ show, Ironheart (expected 2023), becoming the first queen to enter the MCU. Hundreds of publications all over the world shared in the excitement for Couleé’s explosive news about their new role. They previously acted in Dragging the Classics: The Brady Bunch Paramount+ special, the indie Chicago series “Finesse,” and their critically-acclaimed one-woman show "Couleé With A C" (2019), which saw sold-out shows for its NYC run.
Continuing the theme of firsts: Couleé is the first drag figure to enter the beer market, creating “Shea Coul-Alé” and “The Royal Edition” beers with Goose Island Brewing Co. An unexpected partnership, “Shea Coul-Alé” sold out within 24 hours, and “The Royal Edition” was expanded to major beer markets across the country. A portion of all profits was donated to TransTech, an organization dedicated to helping transgender people kickstart their trajectories in the workplace, and Brave Space Alliance, a Black and Trans-led organization on the South Side of Chicago.
Venturing into the beauty world, Couleé released two collaborative shea butter-based beauty products, the “$100k Bar” and “Slay Butter,” with Black woman-owned small business The Quiet Girl Shoppe. Additionally, Couleé has expanded their brand into many different spaces, partnering with a wide range of iconic brands such as Smirnoff, Supernatural, Mini Cooper, Youth To The People, Orbitz, Skittles, LUSH Cosmetics, Huda Beauty, and more. In their partnership with cannibis drink company Green Monké, together they teamed up with Our Academy, a non-profit that provides mentorship and education for cannabis equity applicants and those affected by the war on drugs.
One of the first queens to walk the runway in Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty fashion show, we are given a gorgeous montage of Couleé applying makeup in the mirror and serving fierce looks, with Rihanna sharing, “It is really inspiring to me how you can really use colors, paints, makeup, textures just to embody whatever you want to.” Couleé was featured as a new face of Maison Valentino appearing in a 2020 campaign and has worked with the iconic fashion house on multiple occasions, most notably for the All Stars 7 press circuit and the first runway of the season. Couleé has also worked extensively with designer Christopher John Rogers, most recently wearing a completely custom CJR look in the All Stars 7 finale.
Couleé and their work have been featured in publications and outlets around the world, including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Allure, PAPER, and numerous others. They were one of the first Drag Race alum to guest on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, represented Drag Race on the Deadline Emmy Contenders Panel, and graced the covers of Entertainment Weekly, Out, Gay Times, and international fashion magazine METAL. In addition to covering Gay Times, Couleé was honored for their “reputation for drag excellency of the highest order.”
A proud Chicago resident, Couleé purchased their first home in the city in 2021 and resides with their partner and chocolate Pomeranian, Baby.