BERNARD G. JACOBS
Image Consultant/Fashion Stylist
And Costume Designer
Bernard G. Jacobs grew up in suburban New York (Westchester County) and graduated from the University at Albany (NY) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. He went on to earn an MBA in Marketing at SUNY-Binghamton before entering the New York fashion industry as Director of Marketing for Format/Modules, a neckwear and hosiery corporation. At Format/Modules, Bernard led the firms marketing and advertising campaigns while overseeing its sales staff and creating cross-promotion with retailers, restaurants, radio stations, television and movie celebrities, and recording artists.
Inspired by his love of fashion and music, he left the company to form his own company, Katy Duds, specializing in artist imaging and styling. He played a vital role in creation of album covers, videos and promotional merchandise for such artist as Babyface, Toni Braxton, Aretha Franklin, Terence Blanchard, Patti LaBelle and Freddie Jackson, to name a few. Most notably, Bernard G. Jacobs was largely responsible for the creation of Toni Braxton’s glamorous image---a key ingredient in the multi-platinum success of her debut LaFace/Arista album, Toni Braxton. He styled all her videos from the debut project (“Another Sad Love Song,” “Breathe Again,” “Seven Whole Days,” “You Mean The World To Me,” and “Love Shoulda Brought You Home”) and key television appearances (Grammy Awards, MTV Movie Awards, Jay Leno, Letterman, Soul Train Awards and numerous late-night and morning talk shows). He also served as costume designer for the entire “Breathe Again” tour wardrobe for Toni, the musicians (8) and her three sisters who sang background.
Consequently, Bernard continued his creative surge in the recording industry. In the case of Babyface, he became “the man behind the man.” Bernard G. Jacobs has styled nearly every appearance by this monumental Grammy Award winning singer/producer/songwriter, from album covers (“For The Cool In You,” “The Day,” “Christmas with Babyface”), videos (“Change The World” - f/Eric Clapton, “Every Time I Close My Eyes,” “For the Lover In You,” “How Come, How Long,” –f/Stevie Wonder) and several TV appearances and performances (Grammy Awards, American Music Awards performance with Madonna and Soul Train Award Shows), to styling the entire cast of musicians, vocalists (After 7, Shanice and K-Ci and Jo Jo of Jodeci) and Babyface for his MTV Unplugged appearance.
Capitalizing on his new designing and imaging fame, Bernard moved to Los Angeles (1994) to accept the position of Director of Artist Development for Edmonds Records Group (formally Yab Yum Records), the West Coast-based label founded by Tracey Edmonds. Bernard implemented artist development programs for artists (Jon B., Third Storee and Beverly Crowder) on the label to develop special skills and training in an effort to strategically position themselves in the Pop and R&B marketplace.
He oversaw artists’ vocal training, performance techniques, choreography and staging, interview training, etiquette training, solicited hair and make up professionals for CD and press photo shoots and performances and wardrobe styling. In 1997, Bernard was promoted to Vice President of Artist Development. Building on his creativity and marketing success, Bernard continued to commission music videos including creatively developing the video concepts and controlling pre and post-production costs. Bernard art directed CD covers, posters, print and trade tip sheet ads and radio spots coupled with CD and single releases. He initiated cross-promotion campaigns linking major clothing corporations with the label’s artists that led to mass exposure and awareness.
After several years of creative hard work and dedication, Bernard was promoted to Senior Vice-President. He developed and coordinated marketing strategies via sales, promotion, publicity and international departments that led to increased profit margins and awareness. In 1999, Bernard created and produced the opening golf-themed segment for Nickelodeon’s Kid Choice Award Show with Third Storee performing an original song penned by Babyface.
His passion for fashion reignited and Bernard decided to leave Edmonds Records and take a leap of faith to upstart his imaging consulting company – BGJ & Associates. A month into setting up shop, he was tipped off that Serena Williams, the pro tennis super star, wanted him to work with her. He hit it off with her so well after styling her for the ESPY Awards, which she continues to use his services today. Bernard’s imaging for Serena Williams have been on the covers of leading women’s and lifestyle magazines and news publications such as Savoy, Ebony, Time, ESPN magazine and The NY Post and featured in numerous publications, including In Style, In Touch, People, Entertainment Weekly, US Weekly, USA Today, The Enquirer, Lifetime Magazine and The Star. Bernard styled a second cover and feature for EBONY with the entire Williams family – Serena, Venus, Lyndrea, Yetunde, Isha and mom Oracene. He also glamorized Venus and Serena to accept the President’s Award at the 2003 NAACP Image Awards.
Serena hired Bernard G. Jacobs to work with her to develop and design a couture dress collection for her line ANERES, that is Serena spelled backwards. Bernard played a key role as Fashion Director in sourcing textiles and notions, overseeing garment production and fittings to complete the collection for the first runway showing at the Women’s Tennis Association Gala in Santa Monica, CA. Bernard styled the entire runway presentation.
Serena wasn’t the only new kid in town in the fashion world. Halston, the preeminent force that practically created American glamour in the 1970’s and 80’s hired Bradley Bayou to rein as the new kid for the design house. Taking a cue from the fashion world headlines, Bernard G. Jacobs contacted Halston to work with them to further their brand positioning by utilizing BGJ & Associates’ contacts to create buzz and increased visibility for Halston and Bradley Bayou. Bernard’s goal was to launch the new line on the red carpet using some of Hollywood and fashion’s most notable A-list names.
The goal was reached. Solely, Bernard G. Jacobs secured to dress Queen Latifah, nominated for Best Supporting Actress in “Chicago”, in Halston for the 2003 Academy Awards.
Major lead-off publicity for Halston was created that led to articles in People, US Magazine, The NY Post, In Style and coverage on Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Access Hollywood as well as various popular internet pages. Bernard also attracted Queen Latifah to wear Halston when she was honored at the 2003 Essence Award show.
As a recognized television personality, Bradley hired Bernard to co-produce the “Best of LA – Oscar Preparation” segment for The View. He selected, contacted and developed and arranged a shooting schedule of top LA image professionals – hair, make up, manicurist, jewelers, eyebrow artist, spa professionals and clothing retailers – for the segment.
In addition to guiding public relation resources, Halston hired Bernard G. Jacobs as Design Consultant to work with Bradley Bayou to develop the collection and facilitate with the production of the collection. Bernard’s invaluable knowledge of sourcing textiles/fabrics and vendors, fit, construction and balance for garment production paid off. His keen sense of trends, colors and fabrications helped to create the apparel needs from start to finish. He assisted in trunk shows presentations in New York, LA and San Francisco by styling, selecting and hiring models for the shows. He carried out selecting fabrics for Oprah Winfrey’s women empowerment tour wardrobe.
Bernard G. Jacobs’ creativity and visionary skill in fashion and music marketing have made him one of todays sought after image-makers. He styled and assisted with the design of the breathtaking red gown for 2004 Supporting Actress Oscar nominee of “House of Sand and Fog”, Shohreh Aghadashloo.
He produced and assisted designed Serena William’s clothing line, Aneres, and continues to work with a host of TV, film and music celebrities. Bernard styled Vanessa Williams (“Soul Food”) and Wendy Davis (“Army Wives”) for the 2009 NAACP Image Awards. Bernard is responsible for revamping the multi-platinum recording artists The Isley Bros.’s (Ronald Isley and Ernie Isley) high-fashion gangster image. He has styled their numerous CD covers (“Contagious,” “Body Kiss,” and “Isley meets Burt Bacharach”) and videos (“Contagious f/ R. Kelly,” “Busted f/ JS,” and “What Would You Do?”) for the chart-topping duo. In addition, designed Earth, Wind and Fire’s tour wardrobe with Chicago. In Fall 2008, he styled an eleven-page fashion spread for GENLUX magazine. The spread was an artful display of winter fashions captured on canvas backgrounds. Most recently, he styled Lisa Raye McCoy and R&B singer, Ginuwine’s latest video, “Last Chance” featuring Tyrese. While his plate is full with clients, Bernard still has room to conquer other demanding tasks put before him. Presently, he is in talks with creating and marketing his own line of clothing. One of his greatest aspirations “to help transform the up coming actor/actress or recording artists of today into the superstars of tomorrow.”