Images by Jeff Sampson Photography

“I’m kind of obsessed at this point,” said Sioux Empire Rock-a-Betty founder Lex Linton of the pin-up lifestyle.

Obsessed is a bit of an understatement. Linton, 28, has a house from 1959 that has an inside to match.

“I kept finding myself buying these 1950’s things,” described Linton, whose kitchen has pink-painted cupboards and turquoise accents.

The fixation over the 1950’s lifestyle started early on after seeing her grandmother in photo albums adorned with an apron and a rolling pin in hand.

“I have always had a draw to that culture and that style,” said Linton. “I wanted a KitchenAid Mixer more than anything in the world when I was a kid, and my mom could not figure out what [child] would ask for that for Christmas over and over.”

One of her biggest pin-up goals came to fruition this past year when her pin-up photographer idol, Roy Varga, made a stop in Kansas City to host photo shoots (he currently travels to 38 states across America). As a promise to herself, Linton swore she would model in a shoot by Varga if he ever came to the Midwest.

“I’ve wanted to do [a shoot with Varga] for the last five years—I just never thought I could,” said Linton.

Linton not only wanted to do it for herself, but for her young daughter.

“There were a lot of things I wanted to do for her in a sense, and to be able to say that I was confident enough to do [the shoot],” explained Linton. “I don’t want her to ever feel timid about things.”

This shoot stirred some ideas and inspired Linton to start a local pinup calendar with the goal to have all of the sales go towards scholarships for non-traditional female students. She approached friend Ashley Rieck of Imani Photography to help, who agreed immediately. Starting off with asking friends, the circle kept growing (they currently have 30 members).

“As we progressed with it, we found that people wanted to do more than just the calendar, and there was a need for an organization that provided volunteering and provided service to the community—specifically women in the community,” said Linton.

To read the rest of this article, pick up the December issue of 605 today! 

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