Mahogany is a 1975 feature film, produced by Motown Productions and released to theaters by Paramount Pictures on October 8, 1975. Directed by Motown founder Berry Gordy (taking over after British director Tony Richardson was dismissed from the film), Mahogany stars Diana Ross as Tracy Chambers, a poor African-American woman who rises to become a popular fashion designer in Rome. Fresh from the success of Lady Sings the Blues, this film served as Ross' follow-up feature film.
Ross plays Tracy Chambers, a sassy industrious young woman living in the projects of Chicago who dreams of becoming a fashion designer. She has worked her way up from salesgirl to secretary and assistant to the head buyer at a luxury department store (modeled after, and filmed at, Marshall Field's on State Street, Chicago). Her boyfriend Brian Walker, played by Billy Dee Williams, is running unsuccessfully for office in the district. When Brian insists Tracy give up her dreams for his, Tracy flees in the middle of the night for Rome, where she becomes a muse to a former client.
The film performed well at the box office upon its release. The film includes a Ross-sung theme song, "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)", which became a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976. It held the number-one spot for one week (January 18–January 24, 1976), replacing "I Write the Songs" by Barry Manilow and replaced by "Love Rollercoaster" by the Ohio Players. "Theme from Mahogany", written by Michael Masser and Gerald Goffin and produced by Masser, was the best-reviewed element of Mahogany and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. The song was later covered by Mariah Carey in 1998 and Sony Music labelmate Jennifer Lopez the following year.