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Kristin Booker • July 13, 2009

Daily Style Icon: Jody Watley

For this week on Fashion.Style.Beauty, I wanted to pay homage to style icons that had a direct impact on me as a woman of color. One of the first would be chanteuse Jody Watley.

I have been a fan of Jody Watley since the release of her first solo album and from her first video, I was hooked on her amazing style. Most of us who were part of the MTV generation (you know, when they played videos) are familiar with her amazing sound and image: Watley has sold over twenty million albums and singles worldwide, won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1987, and with ten nominations is still one of the MTV Video Music Awards’ most nominated female artists of all time.

What I have always loved about Jody Watley is her heady mix of natural beauty and sheer glamour. A cross between Josephine Baker and Iman with street-wise fashion thrown in, Jody has always forged her own path by taking cues from her own muses. From the famous photos taken by Stephen Meisel for her ‘Larger Than Life’ album to using couture Jean-Paul Gaultier in her videos, Jody Watley was the first video star to bring the runway and R&B together for me. Her appearance in a Gap campaign and People’s 50 Most Beautiful People in 1990 only further solidified her as a fashion and beauty icon for women of color. If you read the July 2008 historic issue of Vogue Italia highlighting black beauty in 2008, you saw the fashion spread that paid homage to Jody’s style. I’m not the only one giving the diva her due.

I personally think trying to capture Jody Watley’s style is like trying to catch lightening in a bottle, but I’m going for an update version of her signature motorcycle jacket with this Levi’s Leather Moto Jacket ($298) and a pair of Oversized Hoop Earrings ($8.40).

Here’s raising a glass to a style icon who is nothing but class. Jody, thank you for your contributions to fashion, to style and for showing all of us that being exactly who you are is the ultimate in true beauty.

Please do enjoy one of my favorites from Jody’s song and video collection, “Real Love.”

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