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Ruth E. Carter          

Academy Award-Winning Costume Designer; Best Known for Her Work on "Selma" & Marvel's "Black Panther"

Ruth E. Carter is an African American costume designer for film and television with over 40 films to her credit. Carter has mastered the look of multiple periods and genres in envisioning the clothing and overall appearance of a character or performer. During her long film career, Carter has earned three nominations for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for her work on the films Malcolm X directed by Spike Lee, Black Panther directed by Ryan Coogler and Amistad directed by Steven Spielberg. She won the Academy Award in that category for Black Panther (2018), becoming the first African-American to win in Best Costume Design. In 2021, Carter received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the film category.

Carter began her career working as an intern in her hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts, and at the Santa Fe Opera. She moved to Los Angeles in 1986. While working at the Los Angeles Theater Center, Carter met director Spike Lee, who hired her for his second film, School Daze, and with whom she worked on a number of films thereafter, including Do the Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues, Jungle Fever, and Malcolm X. Carter has continued to work on films for Spike Lee, including Oldboy, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, and Chi-Raq.

In addition to designing costumes for the films of Spike Lee, Carter has worked with legendary directors such as Steven Spielberg and John Singleton, and has dressed actors from Denzel Washington to Josh Brolin, and actresses from Angela Bassett to Jane Fonda.

Carter is also known for her work on What's Love Got to Do with It, Serenity, Four Brothers, Sparkle, The Butler directed by Lee Daniels, and Selma directed by Ava DuVernay.

Carter is currently designing costumes for the American television drama series Being Mary Jane on BET Networks, created by Mara Brock Akil and starring Gabrielle Union. Carter's work can be seen in the action thriller film Kidnap directed by Luis Prieto and starring Halle Berry. Carter was also the costume designer for the 2016 American television miniseries 2016 Roots.


Capturing visual styles with costume designer Ruth E. Carter, on ...

On this episode of Represent, Slate culture writer Aisha Harris talks to Ruth E. Carter about designing costumes for Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, Joss ...

Black Panther will look refreshingly unlike any other superhero ...

Let's start with the costumes by Oscar nominee Ruth E. Carter, making her Marvel Studios debut. Whether T'Challa is spending his downtime in a dashiki or the ...

'Black Panther' Costume Designer Says Black History, Current ...

Veteran designer Ruth E. Carter said her inspiration for the fictional land of Wakanda stemmed from real black experiences.

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