It's a huge week for Pamela Anderson. The "Baywatch" actress, model and animal-rights activist is the cover star of Playboy's very last nude issue, which hits newsstands on Friday, and as of Thursday night, Anderson can also add "designer" to her list of career titles.
In collaboration with Parisian footwear designer Amélie Pichard, Anderson created a seven-piece vegan shoe collection inspired by her two favorite places: St. Tropez and Malibu. "We sort of married my two favorite cities together," Anderson told Fashionista at the collection's launch party at Opening Ceremony in Los Angeles. The design duo met through a friend last November and bonded over a lifetime love of (and fascination with) California. "I'm a Canadian girl from Vancouver Island, and I think she feels the same way coming from France — we all picture palm trees and that celebrity lifestyle," Anderson said. "We thought: What's the most practical, sexy shoe? Something not too high, not too low, for if you're on a boat or on the beach or you go to a club?"
The resulting collection, priced from $490 to $950, has a strong beach-to-yacht vibe ("Baywatch," anyone?) — think plexiglass heeled sandals with patchwork denim or fringe raffia straps. A pair of Nike-inspired platform sandals, done in a candy apple red leather substitute and featuring "Pamela" stretched marquee-style across the straps of both feet, are sure to become street style bait.
All of the shoes — and the standalone beach bag — are made from 100 percent vegan, nontoxic and breathable materials, including rubber, cotton, plastic and acrylic, which resulted in a major sourcing challenge for Pichard. "Finding the material for the lining was the worst," she lamented. "It needed to be breathable and antibacterial." Still, Pichard rose to the challenge and was so inspired by Anderson that she plans to offer a permanent vegan line under her brand. "I have loved Pamela since I was nine years old," she said.
Anderson, who has been vegan for over 20 years, continues to dedicate both her time and money in the name of animals. This week, she campaigned for various animal rights causes at the Kremlin in Moscow, and in September, she debuted a separate boot collection, made from recycled electronics and plastics. "It's all very grassroots," she says, adding that both the Amélie Pichard collaboration and the boot collection were self-funded. "I've always wanted vegan options [for clothing], but now more people are starting to say, 'I don't want to wear animals because I know factory farming is the leading cause of global warming,' so I feel I need to take everything I have and put it into this."
Anderson is even open to Instagramming in the name of animals, even though she admits to being a social media novice. "I have no followers! My kids are so embarrassed," she says. "But it's good for animal rights, and that's all I care about."