In The News

Black Panther Costume Designer On Being Inspired

Posted: February 13, 2018

By Kandia Johnson, Black Enterprise

"Marvel’s Black Panther movie is one of the most highly anticipated films of 2018. But beyond a star-studded lineup of incredible black talents such as Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Lupita Nyong’o, the film also includes an action-packed storyline equipped with a variety of jaw-dropping costumes. So we caught up with Ruth E. Carter, the Academy Award-nominated designer behind the film to talk about how the ancient tribes of Africa inspired her designs of the superhero costumes.

Carter is no stranger to recreating representations of blacks in films—she’s also the creative mastermind behind some of the most iconic black films in history—School DazeMalcolm XAmistadDo the Right Thing, Roots (2016) and Selma, to name a few. Below she shares her design process and inspiration behind the film’s costumes.

Marvel Studios gave me a blueprint. They had a lot of plans for the costumes, whether it was visual effects, special effects, or photo doubles. So they told me the elements the costume needed to have. From rich saturated colors and beautiful prints to textures—these things were rooted in African culture.

So we researched all of these wonderful different ancient tribes from the continent of Africa such as the Xhosa, Zula, Himba, and Maasai, and learned about their secrets and the reason behind doing things a certain way. For instance, when The Himba Tribe used this beautiful red clay that they put all over their bodies (including, jewelry hands, and hair) it was for the desert dwellers to have moisturizer. It also made your skin and hair really soft. It even had Shea butter—it was also so colorful and intense. It could even be bottled and sold today as a moisturizer.

On the other hand, the Maasai Tribe was known for all of this beautiful beadwork—so we wanted to direct the costumes towards that look. The stacked rings are a very prominent visual jewelry and were worn by ancient African tribes—that was also part of the framework that Marvel said we would like to have. I hired a jewelry designer who does African-inspired jewelry. She created rings, and necklaces—featuring a hand-tooled element that really pulled the looks together. We also pulled inspiration for the costumes from the draped robe attire that you often see in the Nigerian culture."

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Costumer Comedy

Posted February 13, 2018

Happy Valentines Day!


Retail Shows Power of Personalization

Posted: February 7, 2018

"Most retailers are looking for ways to improve the consumer experience with their brand, but few are equipped to apply one of the most obvious and powerful approaches available, which is personalization... " Read the article online at:


4,000 Opera Costumes, One Giant Fantasy Sale

Posted: February 7, 2017 

So must the resurrected mummy. And the giant ladybug. And that blood-splattered gown.

These items, along with classic doublets, frocks and imaginary creatures, were among about 4,000 costumes the Dutch National Opera put up for sale to the public on Saturday.

Why? Storage is stuffed.

“At some point, the stock room explodes,” Robby Duiveman, the director of the opera’s costume, wigs and makeup department, said in an interview on Friday. He has overseen three such sales in his 18 years at the opera. But this is the first one the opera has had in nine years.

Pieces of the Dutch National Opera’s recent history — the sweat, the drama, the flecks of fake blood — may end up at other opera houses or in the closets of avant-garde dressers. The house plans to keep its prized pieces for its archives."

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The Best Costumes From Venice Carnival

Posted: February 7, 2018 

"Every year, Venice lights up the chilly days of February with three million visitors coming to enjoy its carnival celebration.

Traditionally, revellers will wear clothes fit for 18th century royalty, although modern costumes do pop up too. Once you have some form of mask, you’re considered ready for the carnival. Even you don’t transform yourself, the sheer spectacle of costumes around the city is simply incredible. Here are some of the best from this year’s revels." 

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