Robert Gordon Mackie was born in Monterey Park, California, USA in 1940. He studied advertising and illustration at the Pasadena City College in 1957-58 then costume design at Chouinard Art Institute at Los Angeles, California.
His career began as a sketch artist for Jean LOUIS, the film designer. He also worked for Edith HEAD at Paramount. He designed for 6 films between 1967 and 1983, gaining 3 Academy Award nominations.
He also created costumes for the Judy Garland TV show in 1963 and the Carol Burnett Show from 1967 to 1978.
He is best known for designing the costumes of singer/actress Cher, whom he has dressed since the early 70's. Her costumes for her "Sonny and Cher" shows were very extravagant and colourful. When she appeared on the cover of TIME magazine in March 1975, she was wearing a Bob Mackie gown.
In 1979, he wrote a book " Dressing for Glamour" and in 1998, his second book "Unmistakably Mackie" was a real success.
Another glamourous personality whom Mackie designs for is Tina Turner.
One of the glamorous ladies he dresses is Barbie. He joined with Mattel Toys to dress Barbie. These dolls are called Bob Mackie dolls and are sold everywhere in great number.
In 1982, Bob Mackie turned to ready-to-wear and established Bob Mackie Originals.
He is still designing for a wide range of clients. He is a little sad that people do not really take him seriously and think that he can only design the sort of Las Vegas showgirl outfit. In fact he has been nominated for 15 Emmys and won seven. He has been nominated for the film costume design Oscar three times also.
In 1999, the Costume Designers Guild awarded Bob the Achievement in Costume Design Award for the year. The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, held a retrospective exhibition of Bob's work in the same year.
Bob Mackie holds his runway shows once a year at Bryant Park, New York, during the Fall fashion season. His collections also include very wearable garments, which many famous people buy and wear, but the world in general does not really know about these clothes.