Black Fashion History: Ruth E. Carter

ruth-costume-designerRuth E. Carter is an African-American costume designer. She is best known for her work on the films Malcolm X,Teen Beach Movie and Amistad, for each of which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design. She received a career achievement award from the American Black Film Festival in 2002.Carter graduated from Hampton University, and then interned in her hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts and at the Santa Fe Opera. Working at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, she met Spike Lee, who hired her for his second film, School Daze, and with whom she worked on a number of films there after.

Synonymous with style, design and exquisite detail, Ruth E. Carter is the costume designer to call when a filmmaker needs to tell an authentic story though a characters’ attire and accessories. Getting her start in the theatre and in opera houses. Her portfolio today reads like that of a Hollywood A-Lister, with credits in over forty films, including classics as I’m Gonna Get U Sucka, The Five Heartbeats, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, What’s Love Got to Do with It and recently The Butler and Sparkle.


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