Donyale McRae was born on the upper east side of Manhattan. His long professional career has taken him to Milan, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Switzerland, Munich, Tunisia, Hamburg and the United Kingdom. He began working for Italian Vogue for many years in Italy before moving to Paris to work with many other magazines and commercials. Donyale’s first Motion Pictures started with music video; the first on his plate was Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It” in 1984. Donyale went on to do most, if not all, of the leading recording artist and motion picture celebrities in the following decades. These artists included Helen Mirren, Penelope Cruz, Leonardo Dicaprio, Peter O’Toole, Micheal Kors, Sarah Jessica Parker, Roberto Cavalli, Vera Wang, Anita Baker, Will Smith, Kiss, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Debbie Gibson, Prince, Samantha Fox, White Snake, Regina Belle and many others.
He was awarded the opening of the 74th and 79th Academy Awards, designing 140 nominees with Oscar winner Errol Morris. Donyale has worked with many top directors on many of the leading commercial spots in the USA. Chappelle’s Show was a surprise hit TV series in which Donyale designed makeup and hair, and was department head for the run of the two seasons, as well as the aborted third. The following year he became the Department head of another hit, “Project Runway,” on which he worked for seasons 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Donyale also worked on the mega-hit features “I Am Legend” and “American Gangster”, Lifetime’s “Sherri” show, HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” Bravo’s “Rocco’s Dinner Party,” and USA’s “Royal Pains,” as well as on upcoming features “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Noah,” directed by Martin Scorcese and Darren Aronofsky, respectively. Donyale makes his home in New York, Los Angeles, and Cambridge, England.