2008 : Jody Watley VOGUE ITALIA The Historic Black Issue
Photography: Herb Ritts
Makeup: JoAnn Gair
Hair: Peter Savic
This issue featured 4 covers (Naomi Campbell, Liya Kebede, Jourdan Dunn Sessilee Lopez) only black models, all the feature topics are related to black women in arts and entertainment. It sold out in 72 hours, with 60,000 more copies ordered for reprint. Currently selling for $2,500 on eBay. Did you grab a copy?!
An honor to be in the issue, led by the visionary editor Franca Sozzani.
“..no one is as passionate about my career as I am. It’s me, self-expression, something I’ve wanted since I was 5… Nobody knows better than me if you look a certain way you’re going to be fighting to prove you’re smart..You grit your teeth and get on with it
but it’s always there..
just like I always feel the distinction of being a black person. On several occasions as an example sitting on an airplane in first class and they go -let me see your boarding pass like I’m sitting on the wrong seat..”
“..if I’m good to myself, I’ll be good to everyone else..I want to be remembered for what I have to say as Jody Watley the singer – songwriter – not the former dancer with Shalamar.” – Jody Watley
Whenever I look back on interviews for these throwbacks.. it’s good to know that though I continue to evolve .. my essence remains pure and intact. No BS.
Photography 📷 : Mike Owen
Makeup : Paul Starr
Sweater Coat: Azzedine Alaia
Consistent Life Notes—Know Who You Are and No matter what — get on with it with business, job, life .. etc. Wattage ✨
#OTD May 20, 1989 “Real Love” by GRAMMY® winner Jody Watley from her platinum second album “Larger Than Life” peaked at #2 on Billboard Hot 100 Chart. “Real Love” became one of the biggest pop and R&B singles of 1989. The single reached number-one on the US Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart and dance chart.
#1 * Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
#1 * Dance Club Songs
#2 * Hot 100
The video directed by Academy Award winning director David Fincher remains one of MTV’s Most Nominated Of All Time with 6 nominations.
Jody Watley. Blue Issey Miyake Plastic Body Mold. Performing on Soul Train 1988. I had red as well as black though I believe I had the red customized to black.
I originally wore the Issey Miyake plastic bodice on my U.K. solo single in 1984. The label didn’t believe in the project or my direction so things never got off the ground—until I returned to USA
In 1984 – London ironically not fitting their image and box of “R&B artist” the UK label wanted me to just be the girl from Shalamar and to do something similar .. I had other plans. “You have to have a vision and believe in it. It paid off for me ultimately” – Jody Watley
I was tagged in a post with the very fashion forward Zendaya rocking a Tom Ford plastic bodice this week. Gorgeous.
Full page ad Billboard Magazine, 1987 for my subsequent crossover smash debut hit – first Number 1 – AMA’s, Soul Train Awards, NAACP and Grammy nominated solo debut single “Looking For A New Love.”
The single was was of the biggest of the 1987 and the 80’s in general – a pop culture phenomenon, trendsetting style – as well with the catchphrase “Hasta La Vista Ba-by” later further popularized by Arnold Schwarznegger.
Written by Jody Watley and Andre Cymone. Produced by Andre Cymone and David Z. Photography: Victoria Pearson, Art Direction: Jody Watley & Lynn Robb. Styling: Jody Watley.
The single set the stage for one hell of a solo debut album ‘Jody Watley’ to follow. Despite my naysayers saying I’d regret leaving Shalamar, I’d fail, future in doubt as some of the black magazines wrote I succeeded then and continue to do so over 3 decades later and still on my own terms – most of all I’m happy, healthy, working and enjoying myself with my spirit and soul intact. It was never about being solo – it was to live life with joy, the greatest success. Having this all roll out this way was a gift from God and the universe – a bonus for looking after my own well being on my life’s journey. There’s so much more to say about this time, it will be in my memoir. Until then..
Thankful and full of gratitude a song of this magnitude is a part of my discography. As a note: “Looking For A New Love” also made a bit of history with the 2005 Remixes going to Number 1 on the Billboard Dance Club Play Charts, one of the first hits to become a hit again in an entirely different decade. Thanks so all the 80’s and Classics stations that keep it in rotation and shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, Pose and beyond for the exposure to a younger generation.
What I’ve said for decades now is I hope my career and being represents to others is believe in yourself and to never be afraid to remove yourself from any situation that on the outside might look good to others – but to you it’s everything but that. You will always have doubters – just never let it be you and always be the best version of yourself – keep growing and going no matter the obstacles, often the universe will align in one way or another.
Happy 33 Anniversary — ‘Looking For A New Love”!! Timeless jam and still a damn good break up and empowerment anthem.