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Dita Von Teese, the "Queen of Burlesque"

Full Name Heather Renée Sweet
Age 50
Birthday September 28, 1972
Birth Place Rochester, Michigan, United States
Relationship Status Single
Height 5‘ 5"
Net Worth $16 million
Social Media FacebookInstagramTwitter


Dita Von Teese is an American burlesque dancer & "Queen of Burlesque". She is renowned for bringing striptease back into the spotlight and elevating it to an artform. With her dazzling performances and signature retro pinup aesthetic, Dita has revived interest in burlesque worldwide and paved the way for neo-burlesque performers.

Early Life and Childhood

Born in Rochester, Michigan in 1972, Dita Von Teese‘s real name is Heather Renée Sweet. From a young age, she was enthralled by vintage fashion and Old Hollywood glamour. Her grandmother bought her first sewing machine at age 12, allowing Dita to recreate retro styles. Her fascination with the aesthetic of the 1930s and 40s shaped her unique look and personality growing up.

Dita dyed her hair black as a goth teen and scoured thrift stores to put together sophisticated retro outfits that stood out from her peers. A bit of a loner, she spent time studying arts like costume design and knitting that prepared her for a career in burlesque. Her mom was supportive, entering Dita in local beauty pageants where she honed her modeling skills.

Her Path to Burlesque

In 1992 at age 20, Dita moved to Orange County, California and became immersed in the world of fetish modeling. After being exposed to striptease performances at local clubs, she found her calling in burlesque. Dita was determined to master the art of the tease like her idols Tempest Storm and Dixie Evans.

She started using pasties, elaborate costumes and props like giant martini glasses or carousel horses to transform striptease into an extravagant spectacle. Dita crafted the persona of a glamorous retro pinup bombshell, eventually adopting her stage name inspired by vintage Germanic styles. Her passion for the neo-burlesque movement was born.

Her Rise to Stardom

Dita started headlining shows in the 1990s and launched her breakthrough act "The Martini Glass" performing in a rhinestone bikini inside a giant cocktail glass. In 1999, her first solo show "The Dita Von Teese Show" sold-out in LA.

Her ambitions grew and she went on to tour internationally with lavish productions. In 2001, Dita made history as the first burlesque dancer to appear on the cover of Playboy magazine.

This catapulted her into the mainstream as she performed sold-out shows across the globe. Acts like her famous powder compact routine and visually stunning "Birdcage" feather fan dance cemented her as the world‘s most famous burlesque dancer.

Her Signature Retro Style

Dita Von Teese is just as renowned for her jaw-dropping retro pinup style. With her silky black hair, doll-like makeup, and curve-hugging outfits, she embodies 1940s glamour.

Her signature look features:

  • Winged liner and bold crimson lips
  • Satins corsets and lace lingerie
  • Seamed stockings attached to garter belts
  • Stiletto heels 5 inches or taller
  • Rhinestones, crystals, and pearl accents
  • Oversized props like feathers and flowers

Dita spends hours doing her makeup and hair to maintain her bombshell image at all times. She owns a vast collection of vintage lingerie, gloves, and accessories. Her commitment to Old Hollywood glamour is unmatched.

Her Business Empire

Beyond burlesque, Dita expanded her brand into business ventures like:

  • A makeup line with retro packaging and signature red lipsticks
  • A vintage-inspired lingerie collection designed with an Australian brand
  • Several books including a fashion manual, lingerie guide, and memoir
  • A perfume partnership with famed French fragrance house Etat Libre d’Orange
  • A clothing line called Delicious by Dita Von Teese featuring 1940s styles

Dita also became a muse for designers like Christian Louboutin and Jean Paul Gaultier. She friendshipped celebrities including Katy Perry who she took under her wing.

The Legacy She Leaves

Now 50, Dita Von Teese stands as the undisputed Queen of Burlesque. She revived burlesque and striptease as an artform for a modern age. With her awe-inspiring performances, iconic retro style, and entrepreneunal success in numerous ventures, Dita has left an unforgettable mark on popular culture.

She paved the way for creative expression through neo-burlesque and continues inspiring performers worldwide. Dita Von Teese has undoubtedly secured her place as one of the most influential burlesque dancers in history.