Jody Watley 1988 in May’s issue of Harper’s Bazaar photographed by Francesco Scavullo wearing Angel Estrada, hair by Jeff Woodley, make up by John Evans.
I’ve told the story before, but here it is again in a quick snapshot. When my publicist notified that Harper’s Bazaar wanted to feature me in the magazine with photo session in New York by the legendary fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo who has lensed some iconic images over the decades. They had no idea who he was or the additional significance.
this wasn’t a common occurrence in the music business at that time. My label did not agree to fly me to New York for this major opportunity asking me what did being in a fashion magazine have to do with selling records – forget the major exposure, the broadening of the audience, establishing me beyond music as a budding fashion icon and brand or however one wishes to look at things. I didn’t want to miss out and so I paid for my own flights and hotel to do this. Always invest in yourself if you have the means to do so.
Eventually of course major labels embraced the concept and additional prestigious PR and it became commonplace -and of course went even further with black superstar women in music like Rihanna, Beyonce, and more (Ciara, Alicia Keys) gracing the cover of high fashion magazines.
My solo debut was so monumental in a variety of ways beyond the Grammy nominations, winning Best New Artist, the hit singles and more. Always believe in yourself.
Jody Watley Archived Image, 1987. Urban fashion meets high end chic. Fashion. Self styled. Independent. Betsey Johnson dress, Chanel belt, Converse sneakers, Jody Watley Jumbo Hoop Earrings. Harper’s Bazaar, VOGUE, Rolling Stone, and various fashion magazine layouts, first GAP celebrity ad campaign..making the door a bit easier and wider for today’s younger black artists to walk through. #itsinthemusic #JodyWatley
From Ebony.com –
“From Lenny Kravitz to Rihanna, here’s 25 of the most influential style and fashion icons in Black Music” See the full list, including Jody Watley named “Trendsetter” Here
“I like to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out there and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou
I thought of this while watching all of the ladies perform at the Superbowl yesterday. It’s always cool to see anyone achieving and going beyond their dreams; man, woman, girl or boy – young or old.
As an artist however, I felt especially proud, like a big sister, yesterday watching the diversity of each artist on the big stage at the Super Bowl 48. The soulful ‘America The Beautiful’ with Jennifer Hudson (made me teary, singing with the Sandy Hook Children’s Chorus; understanding the connection of the personal tragedies due to senseless gun violence to both), Alicia Keys singing at the piano for ‘The Star Spangled Banner,’ the dynamite entertainment force of Beyonce’s halftime performance; also using the moment to show her sisterhood with Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams reuniting Destiny’s child’s for the occasion.
Each of the artists – kicking ass in their own distinct way. Simply fabulous!
I can relate. Grab the lapels of life and kick ass – yes indeed!