Search | Browse

Bob Mackie Biography

The amazing scope of Bob Mackie's fashion, home furnishings and entertainment career is enormous and continues to expand. Mackie's reputation was built designing for and dressing the most glamorous and charismatic women in the world.

bob mackie For years, his designs have graced the most famous stars in the entertainment industry. And now, his sportswear collections, eyewear, signature fragrance, collectible Barbie

dolls, luggage and home furnishings are being enjoyed by everyone.

His close attention to detail, as embodied in the design, choice of fabric, use of color, and opulent embellishment, is legendary. When a woman chooses a "Mackie, "she dares to be noticed! It is for this reason, that Grammy Award winning artist P!nk collaborated with Mackie to design her costumes for her worldwide "Funhouse Tour "in 2009. In fact, one of the costumes he designed was showcased in P!nk's amazing "Glitter In the Air "performance at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony this year. In 2008, Mackie and longtime friend Cher, teamed up again for her three year run at The Colosseum at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

As a young boy growing up in Southern California, Mackie submerged himself in Hollywood glamour by seeing and studying every film he could lay his eyes on. After leaving design school he was ready to attack Hollywood and soon became in great demand as an assistant to many of the industry's top designers, including the famed Edith Head. By the mid sixties, Mackie was the hot young "Mod "designer and was designing costumes for many of the top television variety specials, featuring such stars as Fred Astaire, Mitzi Gaynor, Dinah Shore and Diana Ross and the Supremes.

In 1967, after seeing Mitzi Gaynor in her Mackie designed Las Vegas show, producer Joe Hamilton immediately hired Mackie to design all of the costumes for the upcoming season of the new "Carol Burnett Show. " Mackie worked with Carol throughout the show's 11 year run, creating such characters as "Mrs. Wiggins, "Nora Desmond, "Eunice, "and of course, the infamous "Starlet O'Hara "in her green curtain dress (rod included!) "I saw it in the window and couldn't resist! " Burnett has repeatedly said: "The key to Bob's success is that he has a producer's mind. He doesn't think of his department alone. He looks at every show as a whole. His true genius lies in his zeal for detail and his sense of humor. " His relationship with Burnett flourishes to this day. Mackie worked with Burnett on the television remake of "Once Upon a Mattress, "which aired on ABC in 2005. In 2009, Mackie created the "Went with the Wind "Carol Burnett Show Doll, to pay homage to his dear friend and the infamous dress. Furthermore, the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History honored Bob Mackie and his inventive genius by displaying the "Went with the Wind "dress as part of the American History Museum's Kennedy Center Honors Collection.

After guest starring on the Burnett show, Cher soon asked Mackie to create her costumes for the upcoming "Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. " With her amazing presence and Mackie's outrageously glamorous clothes, Cher and her costumes soon became one of the biggest draws on weekly television. In fact, in 1975 Cher was featured on the cover of TIME magazine in a Mackie creation. Mackie received his latest Emmy Award in 2003 for Cher's "The Farewell Tour "concert which aired on NBC. To this day, whenever she appears dressed in a Mackie, she continues to astound and delight her fans. In 2008, Cher kicked off her three year run at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Mackie, of course, has designed her breathtaking costumes.

Mackie's impressive television career has been recognized over the years as he has amassed 31 Emmy Award nominations and nine Emmy Awards. The crowning achievement thus far, however, is his 2002 induction into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. Mackie is the only member of the Academy who is a costume designer, which is a remarkable accomplishment. In addition to designing for television, Mackie's career spans film and stage as well. His film designs received Oscar nominations for "Lady Sings the Blues "(Diana Ross), "Funny Lady "(Barbra Streisand) and "Pennies from Heaven "(Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters).

As Mackie's costume design career progressed throughout the 60's and 70's, the viability of the Bob Mackie name as a brand became apparent. It seemed only natural that Mackie would take his flair, which had previously been reserved for performers, and transform his designs so that all women could enjoy his creations.

Thus, Mackie began his first ready to wear collection in 1982, which was immediately well received by the public and rapidly grew to include other products throughout the 80's and 90's including his signature fragrance named "Mackie ", the introduction of the collectible Mackie Barbie

doll program and the launch of the "Wearable Art "program for the QVC television network.

Mackie's success selling products is not limited to traditional retail stores. His unique creativity and style, along with his charm, have led to an incredible loyal customer base for the 18 year old "Wearable Art "apparel program on QVC.

The Mackie glamour reaches the pinnacle of fantasy with his 19 year old highly coveted collectible Barbie

Doll series. Each year, his legion of fans anxiously await the new Bob Mackie doll. In fact, Mackie's status is reflected in the collectible doll market as many of these dolls are worth in excess of $1,000 each. In 2005 and 2006, Mackie designed the highly coveted Holiday Barbie

doll and in 2007, Mackie designed three Cher dolls (70's, 80's and today), which sold out immediately. In 2008, Mackie's Barbie

Doll "Lady of the Unicorns "wowed his legion of fans. And in 2009, Bob Mackie designed the 50th Anniversary Golden Legacy Barbie

doll.

In 1998, the Mackie brand moved in a new direction when he entered the world of home furnishings. This foray into the home was a natural move for Mackie as it gave the consumer Mackie's sense of style, luxury, and elegance, in their own home. Thus, the debut collection of Bob Mackie Home furniture with American Drew was a resounding success and remains a strong seller. In 2007, Mackie's latest Signature collection debuted at the Furniture Market in High Point, North Carolina to rave reviews, and continues to sell strongly.

Since 2000, Bob Mackie Home has included spectacular lighting collections. Partnering with industry leader, Murray Feiss Lighting, Mackie has added new collections each year with great success. Additionally, in 2008, Mackie added an exquisite 14 piece hand tufted and hand knotted rug collection to his Home mix, in partnership with Surya, a style leader in the industry. For 12 years, the Bob Mackie Home brand has been an innovative force in the home furnishings industry.

In recent years, Mackie's extraordinary fashion and costume design career achievements have been acknowledged. In March 2008, Mackie was honored by The Hollywood Arts Council, becoming the first recipient of the Charlie Award for Fashion Arts. The Charlie Awards acknowledge contributions of merit to Hollywood and its arts. In March 2007, Mackie won the tdf/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award for his theatrical costume career.

In November 2005, 150 lots from Mackie's personal archives, including sketches, costumes and couture outfits, were auctioned through Christie's New York auction house. A portion of the auction's proceeds were donated to the Elton John Aids Foundation. In May 2005, Mackie received an honorary doctorate degree from the Otis College of Art & Design. Mackie is one of the few fashion or costume designers to receive this award. Otis College is Los Angeles' oldest arts institute. Famed Hollywood designer Edith Head graduated from the school. Mackie has mentored Otis Fashion and Costume design students for 20 years.

Mackie's contributions to fashion and costume design were recognized in a most elaborate and exciting way in 1999 with the Bob Mackie Retrospective at The Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology ("FIT "). The comprehensive retrospective, which ran for three months, and was hailed as one of the most highly attended retrospectives in New York City history, showcased Mackie's fashion and costume designs. The exhibition included more than 125 of Mackie's spectacular creations, as well as sketches, photographs, videos and ephemera chronicling his extraordinary career. In addition, visitors had the rare opportunity to view a complete display of Mackie's collectible Barbie

doll series. Coinciding with the Retrospective, a lavishly illustrated book, Unmistakably Mackie, written by noted journalist Frank De Caro, was released.

Looking for additional Fashion Designer biographies?
Visit our Fashion Designer Index.


Last Updated: 4/5/2011

Information in this report relies on information provided by individual designers, public relations agencies and other public sources. Infomat can accept no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of such information or for loss or damage caused by any use thereof.

 



© 2011 Infomat Inc