May 2014 / Holly Madison Interview & Photoshoot

With her recent drastic hair change that flooded Twitter feeds and Facebook statuses alike, Holly Madison begs the age-old question: “Do blondes really have more fun?” Not in this case.

Known for her work at Playboy, Holly’s World, and her overall gorgeous physique; it’s hard to believe that Holly Madison is truly a down-to-earth sweetheart. The bubbly redhead balances motherhood, modeling, and business affairs all while sustaining a life in the bustling city of Las Vegas. As a city local, glamour and dazzle are no strange concepts to Holly. The gorgeous star shares with us the more stressful parts of her life as well as all the glitter and spontaneity that comes with it. From the adventure of creating her own burlesque show, “Bourbon Burlesque,” to her most challenging endeavor yet Dancing with the Stars, Holly opens up about what makes her tick.

You have a huge number of fans on Instagram and social media, how would you describe your fans?

I love chatting with people on social media, getting feedback on my bar and show as well as sharing fitness tips.

How did you get your start in modeling?

I don’t consider myself a model, though I used to get scouted for random calendars and things when I worked at Hooters in Santa Monica to put myself through college.

What’s your favorite thing about that industry?

I was never in the high-fashion side of the modeling industry it was pin-up type stuff in LA. I definitely gained awareness about how I looked, how I was presenting myself to the world, how I photographed and how I could improve on that. Those kinds of silly things helped me later when I became a photo editor and now when I focus on the marketing side of my burlesque show “Bourbon Burlesque.”

You’ve met tons of other celebs in your work. Who was the most charming celebrity you ever met or worked with?

One of the downsides of being in the entertainment industry is you end up seeing some really mean people gain “success.” What really makes an impression on me is when I meet someone who has so much going for them and still re- members to conduct themselves with grace and kindness. I’ve observed people such as Halle Berry and Ivanka Trump interact with others in such a polite, un-snobby way… it really makes an impression. Acting like a lady never goes out of fashion – I have to remind myself that sometimes.

Who’s your favorite designer?

I have many favorites but Roberto Cavalli stands out. I wore one of his pieces for my wedding reception.

What’s the best fashion trend you’ve seen this year?

I don’t follow trends that much; I like classic retro styles. I do love how adventurous and whimsical shoe styles have become lately; I love what Charlotte Olympia comes up with.

What’s an average day routine like for Holly Madison?

I am still trying to figure that out! If I could set a daily routine that included plenty of sleep, quality time with my daughter, fitness and work I would be set! In reality, it’s quite the uneven jumble of those things, plus all the unexpected things that come up. I’m sure it’s that way for most moms.

Describe Las Vegas in 3 words.

Friendly, fun, and fabulous.

Las Vegas is known for its exquisite one-of-a-kind restaurants. Which one is your favorite to eat at?

It’s really hard to narrow that down. I love Verandah at Mandalay Bay Four Seasons for a healthy lunch or a business meeting. I love the Peppermill for late night dining, Circus Circus steakhouse for a cozy dinner, and Hugo’s Cellar downtown. [I also enjoy] any of the restaurants at the Bellagio with the fountain views at night.

What was it like working on Dancing with the Stars?

Dancing With the Stars was the most physically grueling thing I have ever done. I was asked to join the show as a replacement last minute so I didn’t have the month or so of training that all the other contestants get, but the opportunity was really what I needed in my life. I was just getting out of two back-to-back, really consuming relationships and the discipline and opportunity that dancing provided me was just the thing I needed to get me back on my feet. I really felt like the universe was looking out for me when I got that call.

What is your favorite style of dance?

I’m not a trained dancer, so I try and stick to singing. I can tell you my least favorite style is hip-hop. I wish I did, but I just don’t have that style. I headlined a show for almost four years and the choreo was hip-hop. I could never find that flavor.

Known for your iconic blonde locks, what inspired you to go red?

I have super dark, almost black hair with red undertones, so keeping up with the platinum blonde was a lot of work and I was looking for something easier to maintain with my busy schedule. Also, when you are a platinum blonde with spray-tan skin you get thrown into a category I was sick of being in. If I ever go blonde again, I am doing it with pale skin and red lips.

What do your hobbies include?

I love to read, I love decorating and I love to travel.

What’s your favorite part of Las Vegas?

I love the old downtown area and I love the strip! Many residents prefer the suburbs because it “doesn’t even feel like you are in Vegas,” but I don’t live here so I can feel like I live in Arizona – I live here because I love Vegas! [Including] all the glitter, excitement and absurdity it has to offer!

What is your morning routine?

I always start my day taking care of my daughter, feeding my dogs and making a green smoothie. I always have coffee, too, but I don’t get that until I am out the door and on my way to work.

What is one of the more stressful parts about your job?

Trying to please everyone! I have a specific vision for “Bourbon Burlesque,” but in the spirit of what I love about the burlesque community I wanted the girls’ solos to express their individual talents and stage personas. Finding a solo the performer loves but still fits into the framework of the show can be a balancing act, so to speak.

You’ve had your own show and just opened up a new speakeasy in Vegas. How do you manage to be such a successful businesswoman?

Ha! When I figure that out, I will tell you! Like any working mom, I struggle to find balance every day.

What’s next for you?

More of the same; I love the direction my life has gone in the last few years.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I would like to have more kids, continue travelling the world and grow my business as a producer.

Follow Holly at:

Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

Photos: Daniel Zahoul (Naluda Magazine)

Stylist: Nicole Chandler

MUA: La Bella Mafia

Location: Alter Ego Studio

Production: Natalia Sans & Maile Leonard