- (1940- )Born Robert Gordon Mackie in Monterey Park, California, he studied art and design at Choinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and Pasadena City College. Mackie started his career as a sketcher for Paramount Pictures, then later for 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios. He sketched for costume designers Edith Head and Jean Louis before gaining the attention of another costume designer, Ray Aghayan, who hired Mackie as his assistant to work on costumes for The Judy Garland Show in 1963. Thus began a lifelong partnership between the two that resulted in projects ranging from television specials and films to the opening of the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas where they were responsible for designing 940 costumes. Mackie is perhaps most famous for his work on television shows such as The Carol Burnett Show (1967-1978) and the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (1971-1974). Both hit shows owed much of their success to Mackie's wonderfully creative and inventive costumes. His penchant for showgirl fashion included the use of furs, beads, and feathers, which earned him the nicknames the Sultan of Sequins and the Rajah of Rhinestones.Cher was the perfect muse for Mackie as she never shied away from wearing his outrageous, body-revealing clothing, which flattered her incredibly fit body. Mackie has been quoted as saying, "A woman who wears my clothes is not afraid to be noticed," which was why his Hollywood client list was so long. These clients included Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Diahann Carol, Carol Channing, Cher, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Mitzi Gaynor, Whoopi Goldberg, Debbie Harry, Teri Hatcher, Anjelica Huston, Elton John, Madonna, Ann Margaret, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Diana Ross, Sharon Stone, Barbra Streisand, Kathleen Turner, Tina Turner, Oprah Winfrey, and Raquel Welch, as well as drag queens RuPaul, Brandywine, and Lypsinka. Mackie's Mohawk Warrior costume, designed for Cher's appearance at the 1986 Academy Awards, exposed her tattooed derriere and caused a national sensation.In 1982, Mackie launched a high-end ready-to-wear line and a succession of licensing deals for bridalwear, eyeglasses, belts, fragrances, a bath line, sportswear, watches, furs, men's formalwear, dress shirts, and neckwear. In 1989, Mackie licensed his name to a line of lower-priced sportswear with the He-Ro Group but the line was discontinued 1994. In 1993, Mackie closed his signature highend collection but returned in 1995 for a joint venture with business partner Ray Aghayan and manufacturer United Designers, creating a line of special occasion dresses. During his three-year hiatus from Seventh Avenue, he continued to design costumes for theatrical productions in Los Angeles and for the Broadway production of Moon Over Buffalo. Mackie even tried his hand at acting in a made-for-television movie, Tales of the City. In addition to his numerous licensed products, Mackie has sold accessories, blouses, and costume jewelry on QVC and has also designed jewelry and porcelain for the Franklin Mint. He is the recipient of eight Emmys, thirty-one Emmy nominations, three Academy Award nominations, and in 2001, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) gave him a special award for fashion exuberance. Mackie, in 2003, was the first designer to be inducted into the Academy of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.
Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. Francesca Sterlacci and Joanne Arbuckle.
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