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Warhol Superstar International Velvet

Warhol Superstar International Velvet, née Susan Bottomly was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1950. International Velvet became Edie Sedgwick’s replacement after Sedgwick’s heavy drug use started to drive a wedge in their relationship. International Velvet appeared on the cover of Mademoiselle at the age of 16 and had an active modeling career by the time she met Warhol in 1966. Warhol was fascinated with Bottomly; he described her routine of putting on makeup as such: “Watching someone like Susan Bottomly, who had such perfect, full, fine features, doing all this on her face was like watching a beautiful statue painting itself.”

Her new name, International Velvet, was partially inspired by Warhol’s band The Velvet Underground, who he had recently discovered. She appeared in Warhol’s most successful film, Chelsea Girls. Warhol soon began bringing her to clubs and parties, flaunting her in much of the same way he did Sedgwick. After Valerie Solanas attempted to assassinate Warhol, it was clear that the atmosphere at The Factory had begun to change. Nico, the singer for The Velvet Underground, began to fill the space that International Velvet had previously occupied. International Velvet eventually changed her name back to Susan Bottomly and left The Factory.

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