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Back to Back: DANIELLE HETTARA of Jacques in Conversation with PENELOPE DARIO

Updated: Dec 31, 2022

INTERVIEW BY PENELOPE DARIO


Jacques Magazine was a cult-classic nudie mag in the late 00's until its final issue dropped in 2013, run by former fashion model and stripper Danielle Hettara and her ex-husband Jonathan Leder. Petit Mort's editor-in-chief, Penelope Dario, caught up with Danielle nearly a decade after the closure of Jacques to reflect on the dissonance between the sex industry and the fashion industry, her thoughts on the Emily Ratajkowski photo scandal, and her career before and after the mag.


"THE BETRAYAL ISSUE" AND DANIELLE SHOT BY DREW MALO JOHNSON FOR SCHON!





PETIT MORT (PENELOPE DARIO)

So let's start from the beginning — you are originally from Florida and prior to starting Jacques, you were a model and a stripper. Which one came first: dancing or modeling?


DANIELLE HETTARA

I always wanted to model but when I first started looking for representation as a teenager, agencies would tell me that my hips were too wide, which was mind blowing, because if you look at younger photos of me… I'm a twig, it was all bone. There was no way for me to even lose them, they are how they are. And then they wanted to send me to Italy and my mom was just like, No, definitely not. No. So I shelved modeling for a while.


My mom has been a raging alcoholic since I was about 12. So the day I turned 18 I left home and at the time I really needed to make money FAST. I had this friend Brian whose father actually did strip club real estate. So I made a few calls and got in touch with him and got a gig at Mons Venus in Tampa, Florida. Which is still a pretty famous strip club.


I'll never forget this guy…


I was doing the rounds at the club, and this guy put his hand out and asked if I was available for a lapdance, which I was, so I started giving him a lapdance. And then he basically just wanted to talk about me being a model. He's a photographer and, blah, blah, blah… We started fucking/dating. Anyway, that guy actually goes on to be a pretty well known photographer named Chadwick Tyler.


It was a whole thing… he didn't wanna say anything to his friends… He’d basically say, “I can't introduce my friends to a stripper” and really put me down. It was a really negative experience. And then, right when we started hooking up, he was actually flying to New York to shoot Supreme Models. And so I guess I got really competitive and jealous and was like, ‘Okay, I'm gonna go to New York. And I'm gonna model.’


I finally found an agency, but then they quickly shipped me to China. I lived in Hong Kong for a bit and did really fucking well. I actually got my first fashion cover while I was in Hong Kong for Oyster Magazine. I was super excited about that. They were huge at the time. This was probably around like 2005/6.


DANIELLE FORMERLY KNOWN AS "DANI LUFT" FOR OYSTER MAG


While working in Asia I got my boobs done in Bangkok, Thailand, because my hips were wider than my breasts and I had always been drawn to this sex-pot aesthetic. My mom is like, super Republican, super old school and yet would constantly put me down in front of the TV to watch old Marilyn Monroe movies and basically subject me to tons of misogyny. So I feel like I kind of really grew up with that identity.


PM

Yeah, we internalize it a lot.


DH

I flew home as soon as I got my stitches out and went back to New York. I started working with a new agency called Click but I wanted to do dance as well. I actually auditioned at The Box and got hired as the burlesque girl. I played up this whole sexpot character as a model and I worked with Bruce Webber, I did a striptease for French Vogue, and a ton of beauty campaigns. I did all of this in three months—just non-stop. I did really well, I wish I didn't quit—that was kind of a mistake.



DANIELLE SHOT BY BRUCE WEBBER FOR FRENCH VOGUE


PM

What made you want to quit modeling?


DH

So I didn’t necessarily quit because I wanted to. I met my now-ex husband Johnathan Leder, while I was a model. And he had just sold his company Apostrophe and wanted to become a photographer. He had booked me on some photo shoots and we started working together. And then we got romantically involved.



JONATHAN LEDER AND DANIELLE HETTARA BY ROBERT WRIGHT FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES


Very quickly, he became very controlling. The first thing was I had to quit burlesque. I remember being in the movie theater with him and my phone started blowing up about Sting’s birthday party. They really wanted me to come and perform, he wouldn't let me. I really regret not taking my clothes off for Sting.


PM

Yeah, I don't know how I could pass that up. That sounds like a tough one.


DH

That was the end of my burlesque career. Then the modeling career ended when they wanted to do all these beautiful nudes for Purple Fashion Magazine. I remember being really excited about it. But when I came home and told Jonathan he got so pissed. I think he actually emailed Olivier Zahm directly, and said, “I can take better photos of her than anyone else can.”


It’s hard to explain…He was actually the first person who saw me for the creative person that I am, and not the sex object that I could be. I started going from in front of the lens to behind the camera. Because he wanted to be a photographer, I started doing hair, styling, and makeup for all his shoots and got to be pretty fucking good at it. And that was huge for me. I felt really great being in that creative position. So in a way I thought, ‘Yeah, I don't need to model, whatever.’ Although looking back I made like, $80,000 in three months, and who gives that up?


PM

I definitely identify a lot with that story of growing up seeing all this hyper-sexualized femininity and internalizing it. It's hard to tell if we would be different if it hadn’t been imposed on us. At the same time, it was also something that I naturally gravitated towards and then went on to embody. It feels like it was something that you also really enjoyed– stripping, modeling, burlesque–- it seemed that it was something you really loved.


But I can also see how entering a relationship can add another layer of stress to the work. From my own experience, I know what it's like to do erotic labor when you're single. It's a really fun and autonomous space to exist in. But when I’m with somebody, it can be more complicated. Even if I enjoy the work, I only really want to share that part of myself with my person. But stepping away from it can come with a loss of independence.


That leads to the inception of Jaques, right? Because you went from embodying hypersexual femininity to working with your ex husband being behind the camera, doing more of the creative side of things.


DH

When I left modeling I found that I had quite a few talents.


I've never worked in a corporate office. I had some college experience In-Design, and learning how to use Photoshop etc. But I also found that I had a really good knack for tapping into people's talents and bringing groups of people together to create something.


I always loved that Gypsy Rose Lee song where she says, “you gotta have a gimmick.” I really took that to heart. I was the model who was also a stripper, which, in the fashion world at that time, there really wasn't a whole lot of us.


PM

I still think that's pretty uncommon.


DH

I always believed that you have to fake it before you make it—you have to create things in order for it to happen. You can't just sit around and wait for the phone to ring.


When I wanted to become a burlesque dancer I put on my own event to be the headliner. I rented out a club in Florida, and it was a total disaster. But I was still the headlining act and people came out and paid to watch me strip. I actually made a static trapeze. It was pretty intense. I literally climbed up, 60 or 70 feet and hung this thing, watched Youtube videos, practiced for an hour, fell on my head during practice, and then came back that night and performed.


That's the mindset I was in when I said “let's start a magazine.”


When I became pregnant with our first child, that also really put the nail in the coffin for modeling. Obviously, I couldn't model while pregnant. Maybe nowadays but not then, not as the sex pot. So I was even more driven to start Jacques.


People who know me know that I like to call people out on their shit—which is not necessarily the healthiest thing and I think I've definitely grown past that a lot now that I’m approaching 40. But when I was 20, I definitely thought “it’s me against the world, fuck you all.” I hated what people were saying about me. In fashion I was never skinny enough, and to the adult industry I was too skinny, I wasn't blonde, I wasn't tan, and I didn't get a big enough boob job. So this was my way of calling everybody out for their hypocrisy, and to create a platform for my husband as a photographer to make money. Because we needed money.


PM

I discovered you guys back in 2015 or 2016. I was doing some research for this brand I was creating and was looking for visual inspiration—this was way before I was a sex worker. I found Jacques and thought this female run nudie mag with a heavy 70’s aesthetic was so fucking cool.


I feel like people still are really excited about it and really miss what you guys were doing. Can you tell me about some of the big lessons that you learned throughout the process?


DH

There's like a gazillion things I've learned from that whole experience.


Working that heavily with your spouse never works… In fact, this other nudie mag Perfect 10 , was one of our inspirations which was run by this other fashion couple. The husband eventually started cheating on his wife and completely destroyed the magazine. Jonathan and I actually had a conversation about that. And we were just like, “we're not gonna do that. Ha ha ha ha, ha.”


PM

Famous last words…


DH

I think you can be an investor in your spouse’s business, a support network, etc. But I think working so close with your partner is never a good idea.


It's also really funny that after we split he had a bunch of my belongings, including a lot of my lingerie. Even in those iconic photos of Emily Ratajkowski that he shot, she's wearing my lingerie. And she's also holding my teddy bear that I've had since I was a baby. He just kept recycling those pieces, you can find them on a lot of models he worked with. My styling influence was all up in there.


I love styling, and he's actually not the only person to do that to me…Looking back to when I left for China, I actually left all of my clothing at Chadwick Tyler's apartment and then he used my whole wardrobe on almost all the Supreme Models. I mean, now I can see it's flattering, but looking back, I was really fucking mad at the time.


PM

I feel like the word muse is so overplayed, but so much of your creative essence permeated the careers of a lot of the people that you crossed paths with…


DH

And this is one thing that really pisses me off about people in the fashion industry. I've had this happen with quite a few people. They become famous, and then they think, “Oh, we don't need you little people anymore.”


Like Petra Collins. One day a model we worked with told us, “I have a friend. She's really obsessed with your magazine.” And at that point we wanted to diversify the photographers that we were using. Petra hadn't done anything yet, absolutely nothing. She was just a student in Canada that really wanted to be a photographer and was a huge fan of Jonathan, you can actually see how she would compose her images with a very voyeuristic type of aesthetic that she got from him.


She was over the moon about working with us, so we asked her to shoot the model instead of Jonathan since they already went to school together.


I feel like if we hadn't given her that first photo shoot, she may not have ever gone anywhere. And now she'll actually post those images that she took for Jaques but she will never mention where she took them and who she took them for.


Just say “Jacques”, and maybe even give a little credit to people that you idolized at that time.



PHOTO BY PETRA COLLINS FOR JACQUES MAGAZINE

PM

That feels really shady to omit that, but maybe it wasn't about you and Jaques but rather an attempt to distance herself from Jonathan’s reputation and the influence of his aesthetic.


It feels like just a few years ago when I started in the adult industry at the end of 2017, things were still really different. And then with the pandemic, and the OnlyFans boom in 2020 there's been a lot more blurring of the lines between sex work and mainstream culture, do you think that that's slowly changing the industry and making it more open? Or do you think that there is still a big wall between fashion and sex work?


DH

There's still a huge wall. And you know what, you actually said something the other night when we met for coffee that really resonated with me. And it was that sex workers are one of the few demographics that can actually access luxury products and yet the fashion industry goes to great lengths to alienate them. And maybe even because I'm part of that group they alienated me in many ways.


PM

It's crazy because it's not just that some of us make money and can access these clothes, these are our work uniforms. We not only buy it for ourselves and use it for class drag in all of our marketing images, but we also really encourage our clients to buy it for us. In fact, I know a lot of girls who are very diligent about ensuring that if their clients are going to give them any kind of gift that they have to be Chanel or Hermes bags—specific brands and items that have a high resale value. So it's not just that we ourselves are consumers, but we're also a big driving force behind the market encouraging other people to spend on it.


When we think back to when Karl Lagerfeld took over Chanel in 1983 he actually realized that there was this growing market of trophy wives and Sugar Babies. It wasn’t the conservative wives that were buying designer clothes—there was this whole new market of young women that were starting to have this kind of access and he started creating collections for these girls. That's when you saw the tweed suits become mini skirts and the jackets cropped with belly chains that were in line with youth and sex worker aesthetics.


DH

No, it's true. It's an excellent point.


PM

I really want to start asking these questions like, ‘Why do you always alienate us?’ We actually have a lot of power in this industry, if sex workers just all of a sudden stopped buying high end fashion and stop telling our clients to buy it for us I think it would actually have an impact. And I don't think it's gonna stop anytime soon. But they could have a lot more to gain if they started speaking to us directly as a market.


That's the thing that got me really excited about starting Petit Mort because we’re not just working with new models that don't really know how to pose or don't know how photography works. A lot of these girls who have independent brands, whether they're a dominatrix, or an escort, they're creating gorgeous editorials alone—they're styling, location scouting, and some of the girls are even shooting themselves doing self portraits.


DH

There's a big difference between the industries. Looking back, I was taken advantage of so much more in the fashion industry than I was being a stripper.


PM

Oh, yeah, you hear that everywhere. I mean, I was taken advantage of more as a waitress and in all the jobs that I had before sex work. When I became a stripper I finally had a conversation with a manager eye to eye—I was like buck naked and he had no interest in checking me out, he just talked to me like a regular employee.


DH

It just goes to show you that happens more in other industries than in sex work.


There's a true power imbalance in the fashion industry. They're using these young girls who don't know any better, and they're putting them in all these ads and they're very sexualized.


PM

In some cases maybe they’re not even conscious of why they're not hiring sex workers. But subconsciously, they think, oh, well, we wouldn't be able to push them around like we push around other models, because these girls work for themselves, they know what they have, and they know what it's worth.


DH

They literally use so much of our culture in their campaigns, as their inspirations for their cosmetics, and their clothing lines. They make young girls sex objects, but yet they refuse to acknowledge us, why?


PM

That's the billion dollar question.


I think a lot of people are afraid of what sex workers know and how they could use it against people in many different positions of power…


It was pretty brave the way you handled the last two issues of Jacques and addressed what had happened at the end of your marriage with the magazine’s co-founder. What led to that?


DH

I created the last two issues of Jaques, 8 & 9, after my marriage ended. This was in Jacques’ major heyday. We were all over the news, doing tons of interviews, having exclusive parties, etc.


Johnathan started having an affair with Brittany Nola, our issue 7 cover girl. She and I have since made peace because he also abused her. He abused both of us, we were very young.


PM

Is this the woman that you published an open letter exchange with in the Betrayal Issue? I thought that was such a powerful piece.


DH

She was so nervous to show up for that shoot. But it actually brought us a lot of closure.


At that time we were starting to work on this film based on my life as a stripper in Tampa, and when we split he actually wanted me to pay for him to go back down to Florida with her to “finish the movie,”—not finish the movie, but to actually start the movie. Because there was no movie at that point. Just him having an affair. I basically told him ‘no,’ and he and I got into a huge fight and he choked me while I was holding our daughter.


Then he left with her, basically fleeing, to Florida the very next day.


I told every model booker and every fucking model that this man is abusive, that he was manipulating Britany, and physically abusing me. They did not fucking care at all. Not fucking one of them—not even Britany’s agency.


There was a warrant out for his arrest and these agencies were still willing to give him girls. When he came back from Florida, he was starting to get a lot of notoriety. That's when he shot Emily Ratajkowski and did a Louis Vuitton commercial and was landing all these big jobs.


What really pisses me off about the Emily story is that I told her agency, I told so many fucking people. I was outspoken about this, I just can’t believe that she never heard my story and still went to his house.


PM

When reading the New York Times article about the Emily Ratajkowski photo scandal I was really shocked because it felt like the intro was about this whole thing that happened to Emily with Jonathan and his photographs of her. And then it took like this kind of crazy turn where they really zeroed in on the abuse in your marriage. It felt like it was dragging you into this conversation when it was supposed to be about Emily's experience and not about what happened between you and your ex husband.


DH

The situation is just fucked up. First and foremost: with the modeling agencies.


It happens time and time again, her agency fucking knew. I called her agency. I told them what he did. They fucking knew and they sent her there anyway.


PM

The article is exposing him for what he did to Emily but they're using your story to corroborate it and assassinate his character. There were a few paragraphs with vivid details which is odd, considering you say that you warned everybody before it happened trying to prevent something like this and no one did anything.


DH

Again, I literally told everyone - I made cold calls to model bookers. I would literally put myself out there, get on the phone with people and sound like a fucking crazy person, just telling them that this guy is dangerous. ‘I know you don't know me but this is what he did.’ Literally on the phone with them in tears. They still fucking sent models to him.


PM

And then in the article, they just wanted to quote your experience like, “Emily's right, He really is a bad guy!”...


DH

Yeah that was also what really upset me too because I was so alienated by everybody.


There was one photographer that we worked closely with at the magazine. She was a longtime friend of Jonathan's and I called her and told her what happened. She told me, “Oh, I don't believe you” and hung up on me. And now that Emily’s story came out, she was ready to do an interview for the New York Times and was like, “oh, yeah, he's evil. He's really fucked up.”


I experienced that over and over and over again with all these people who alienated and chastised me saying that I was making it up for attention. All of a sudden, they were just like, “oh, yeah, he's a total creep.” And they don’t even know Emily, but because she’s an incredibly famous supermodel and she's speaking out against my ex husband, all of a sudden they agree that he’s a creep.


PM

I feel like your experience is so aligned with the values of the sex work community. When there is a violent client out there that is abusing sex workers in any way—whether it's physically or financially they immediately get blacklisted and we try to make sure that we send the message out as far and wide as possible to community to keep everyone safe.


DH

The fashion industry is not like that. At that time, if you said anything like that you were done. My career literally ended. Nobody wanted to have anything to do with me whatsoever. If she had done it then her career would have ended too.


PM

Speaking of being outspoken, I thought, these two volumes of Jaques that we're releasing with PM back issues this season are incredibly powerful. I've never seen anything like it before. One is called the “Betrayal issue,” and the other, “The Revenge Issue.”





The Betrayal Issue in particular is so masterfully created in terms of the concepts and the archetypes that you put together. Was it healing for you to create these issues? Or was it really difficult to dredge these things up in the process?



PHOTO OF DANIELLE IN "THE BETRAYAL ISSUE" BY BEN RITTER

DH

I have found that with the whole situation with my ex husband, I had to talk about it. I felt if I just kept talking about it, I could get it out of my system. With the magazine, it really wasn't so much about sticking it to Jonathan or telling him to go fuck himself. It was more about trying to chip this thing out of me and put it on a shelf so I can just heal separately and find my own identity.


The Betrayal Issue was interesting because I collaborated with Ben Ritter, who did a lot of work with Vice in the early days and had a completely different aesthetic than my ex husband.


We started dating during that process and I think he had his own demons he had to deal with as well. It was a very healing thing for both of us in two completely different ways. And what's interesting is that when the magazine ended, our relationship ended.


PM

Maybe it was kind of this karmic project that brought you two together to heal and exorcise some of those demons. And when it was complete you probably both walked away a lot lighter.


DH

Yeah, we both really got a lot out of that in a very short period of time. And at the end we were able to just be like, ‘Okay, we did this. Let's move on.’


But it's cool, though, because he has a cosmetics company now called Squish Beauty. And I'm not gonna lie, I do see a little bit of our influence as far as the imagery that comes out of that company. I can see a tiny bit of Jacques style in that.


PM

I mean, it's hard for it not to rub off sometimes, right? Because when you have such a powerful vision that people gravitate towards, it starts to live in your mind rent free where people can say that they forgot where it came from because it seeps into the subconscious. I've definitely been guilty of that before where I see something and it's so striking, and it crawls into the back of my mind then I create something and when I look back at my archive of influences I’m like, fuck, I'm so not as original as I thought.


DH

On that subject, Sky Ferreira, remember her?


She started following us in the early days of Instagram, and liked all my images. I was really happy to have her support. And then, a couple months later she ‘creative directed’ this Playboy issue. And when I saw it it was like she literally just took Jacques, put it in Playboy with a large budget, and called it hers.


Yes, I'm calling her out for this shit!


PM

I remember you were saying the other night about how it wasn't just Playboy doing this, but several other publications as well. And how frustrating it was because you really had this fashion background and wanted to bring luxury advertising into Jacques, yet for some reason, they were just ignoring you. Then at the same time, as soon as a girl would shoot with you guys you would see her in Purple Magazine or Playboy, but none of their advertisers would work with you. That was just another layer of hypocrisy.


DH

Oh, yeah. I'd reached out to Tom Ford. And they were like, “Yeah, we love your mag. It's great. But, no.” They just came up with excuse after excuse after excuse. Yet they'll have Terry Richardson shoot your perfume bottles in between girls' tits and that's fashion.


PM

In this conversation, it just feels so clear how the fashion industry will work with male photographers who are known to be predatory and not work with women who have agency over their own sexuality and know how to market it. My brain explodes when I think about these things.


DH

Let me tell you about my experience with Terry Richardson. So my model booker, Harold, (Harold, I fucking love you) warned me about Terry saying, “Just so you know, he's probably gonna try to hang out with you. You do what you want, you make your decisions. But he's been known for this, that, and the other and I trust that you can make your own decision.” I guess he was basically saying that I know you were a stripper. I know that you can get what you want from men. I feel comfortable that I can send you into a room with him. That right there is acknowledging that there is generally a power imbalance between models and photographers. And I showed up, played the game and showed him my boobs. I didn’t care. I actually motorboated him. Which was hilarious because usually he's the one touching people.


PM

That's kind of a power move…Like, I'm gonna suffocate you with my tits. I’m going to weaponize them.


DH

I knew that if I got him to photograph me it would be great for my career. That's the game you have to play.


I gave him my number, knowing that he was gonna reach out, and he did a couple of weeks later, like, “Hey, Danielle it’s Terry. You know, you came to my studio, blah, blah, blah. Would you like to go to a movie?” Do you know what I fucking said? “You had your taste. If you ever want to see me again. You have to book me for a shoot.” Done. I didn't fucking hear from him. But then I got a phone call within the hour from my model booker saying “I don't know what you did. But Terry just booked you for a shoot.”



PHOTO OF DANIELLE BY TERRY RICHARDSON


If that's not a fucking power imbalance I don't know what is. Imagine being an 18 year-old girl or younger who doesn't have the background of being a sex worker. What is she going to do in that situation? “Yeah, let's go to a movie. That sounds great.”

But what's funny, though, is that we are more objects to photographers, to fashion agencies, and fashion brands than we are to our clients.


PM

Oh, absolutely. That's the thing– when a client is paying good money to spend time with you they totally value that, and honestly, I've received more respect for my body and boundaries from clients than a lot of the guys that I've dated in the “real world.”


DH

When I was a stripper in Florida, right, I had this one client coming all the time—I swear to God, a lot of it was I was just learning to be some type of therapist for men. He was an amputee with a prosthetic, and not a very good one. He was handsome, but you could tell that his leg really made him feel that he couldn't talk to a woman in the “real world.” So he would come in and he would see me and we would spend more time talking than anything else. He valued me as a person.


PM

I think that one of the big misconceptions is that sex work is this evil thing where we're trying to steal people's husbands. But really it's a social service, it is actually beneficial for our society for people to have the option to experience acceptance in an erotic dynamic where they don't have to worry about being judged or rejected.


Or maybe they have fantasies they want to explore but don't know where to begin.


DH

I've got a lot of friends who come to me because they want to have a threesome but they don't know how to go about it and I'm like, “Hire somebody!”


PM

YES, that's the only way. Unicorn hunting is so toxic. If you want to have a good time, and you want everybody to walk away happy from the situation and avoid any lingering bullshit, hire a professional.


DH

Especially if you've never fucking done it. Having a professional in the room allows all parties to have fun because the professional is going to talk about boundaries, ask what everybody wants, questions that rando’s are not going to ask. They think it's just getting drunk at a bar, picking somebody up and bringing them back. That's how feelings get hurt.


PM

Expecting this random person to be able to meet your needs and your partner's needs, and then walk away not wanting to date either of you? That's crazy. I think it's much more ethical to see a sex worker if you want to have that type of experience outside of your relationship. Maybe there has been one or two times in the five years I've been doing this work where I've met someone that I felt a strong connection with who maybe I would date if we met off the clock. But even then, I'm not going to act on that. That goes against my code of conduct as a sex worker. You hired me for this, I'm going to do my job. I'm not going to try to date you, because that's not what this is about. And that goes both ways. Clients should not try to date their hookers for free either! It's like if you started seeing a therapist, and then they want to start hanging out. That's not appropriate!


DH

Going back to the fashion industry—look at Terry. All the photographers fucking do that—they meet models at a casting, they get their personal information, and all of a sudden they want to see them outside of work.


It's so funny that people view the sex industry as this crazy toxic, money-hungry, husband-stealing-horror show when in reality it’s mass marketing and consumerism that's really fucking everything up.


PM

Absolutely. I think if people could actually understand the emotional and economic dynamics that we're engaging with they wouldn't judge sex workers so harshly. They might actually start to respect us a bit more and see us as people with something very valuable to offer and with a lot of wisdom that society needs now more than ever.


DH

It also comes down to mainstream media, which drives marketing, and which drives consumerism. They dictate the rules, which goes back to the fashion industry because they have their hand in the pot for everything.


When companies say that they're inclusive, they need to not just be like, “we have different skin colors and body shapes! We're totally inclusive!” They need to also include sex workers to be inclusive.


PM

Like you said, a large percentage of people that are buying their products are fucking sex workers, and they're also fucking sex workers. But the fear goes back to these puritanical ideas around marriage and virtue. They think working with us would be like cosigning the idea that adultery is okay and being a slut is okay.


Speaking of old fashioned values, I’d love to know more about your life in the Hudson Valley. What originally drew you to move upstate? How is it being publicly visible as a person that worked in the adult industry in a small town?


DH

Well, I will say my ex husband definitely showed me upstate New York. We had a car, so we were able to leave Williamsburg and use it as a backdrop for a lot of photoshoots. And then we had our second child. I wanted to have a sheep farm, because I really wanted to get into knitting, so we made the move. We were first in Woodstock, and that was pretty accepting of us, because Woodstock is pretty out there.


When we split in 2012 I moved to Kingston when it was not cool, but then outdated opened. It was a coffee shop that became a creative workplace where people like me worked all day and chatted. I actually put together all of the Betrayal Issue there.


The owners knew what I was doing because they were constantly trying to find me a corner where nobody could sit behind me and see vaginas and tits. But when everybody started to find out what I was doing that definitely made waves. In fact, there was a really cool music venue called BSP down the street from me and they had an Instagram with a big following. And they screenshotted Jacques and posted it on their page like “Jacques just moved here. Bold move.”


I’m definitely not famous, but we had an occult following, I mean cult following, but I like the former better. I still get fan mail from people who've painted pictures of me from photos, and letters from people in jail so that's kind of cool.


In the original Kingston community men were quite intrigued and women were terrified. It was a thing that I had to deal with. And I definitely have been accused of sleeping with a lot of women's husbands who I have never met. But then very quickly they met me and they were like, “you are nothing like I pictured. You wear mom clothes!”


PM

So fast forward several years, how is the neighborhood now? And how is it receiving your new projects? Do you feel like you have the community support?


DH

It's so fucking different. Can I just say, STOP COMING TO KINGSTON!


PM

You heard her, stay in Brooklyn!


DH

Please! Kingston is maxed out!


I literally left Brooklyn to leave the parties and now they’re all here.


For a long time I got emails like “Are you ever gonna start Jacques up again, I just discovered it! I'm so sad you don't do it anymore,”— constantly. I have to deal with pressure from a lot of people. But I've always wanted to do knitwear so that's what I'm doing. No one can tell me any different. I think people are really happy to see me do what I want and not what others are telling me to do.


I’m now starting a new luxury knitwear company called Frances Ophelia which has been a dream of mine since before I started Jacques. We will be launching soon and I plan to be fully inclusive of sex workers. I’m even thinking that if I ever do resurrect Jacques it’ll be in collaboration with this new project. So expect a lot of sexy people in cozy knits!