Ruth E. Carter Recognized with NAACP Vanguard Award for Costume Design – The Hollywood Reporter

Black Panther and Dolemite is my Name Costume designer Ruth E. Carter received the NAACP Image Awards Pioneering Award for Costume Design Friday, at the “Colors Behind the Look: A Celebration of Fashion, Costume Design and Glam” event to coincide with the chapter. The award show lasts for a week.

For many of the Image Awards categories – this year spanned five nights of a non-television ceremony leading up to Saturday’s live show – the costume design had previously gone unrecognized.

“My heart is warm and very open to the honor of opening this category. I’ve always wondered why the NAACP Image Awards didn’t take us from behind the camera to the front of the camera,” Carter said during his speech at the event, which took place around the Hollywood Roosevelt pool. “We’re really solving that problem for actors behind closed doors, we’re the creators of the image. We are image makers and we are a force to be reckoned with.”

Addressing the crowd after a private luncheon, she acknowledged “standing on the shoulders of so many people of color before us who have dressed the president, who have dressed abolitionist, and who have dressed all that the NAACP stands for. Those women wouldn’t dare call themselves costume designers but they did. ”

And Carter, who in 2019 became the first Black woman to win an Oscar for costume design with Black Pantheradded that “introducing this genre of apparel design is really honoring a legacy, a legacy of the people who designed our Afrofuture. [Black Panther‘s all-female military group] Dora Milaje is the highest level of female fighting force in Wakanda and they are not gendered – we dress them for strength, we dress them so that their bodies are fully clothed, We dress them up so you take them seriously because they protect the king of Wakanda. So these women are protecting the king and the NAACP.”

Following her speech, the NAACP officially announced that two new competitive categories – costume and hair design and makeup – would be added to next year’s awards ceremony. Along with his honor, Carter’s work is being marked by a costume exhibit set up at the Roosevelt.

Elsewhere in the event, the host, stylist GooGoo Atkins, also led a tribute to late fashion celebrities Andre Leon Talley and Virgil Abloh. The celebration ended with a fashion show – with a runway set over the pool – featuring appearances from Kevan Hall, Carl Jones, Rodney Epperson, Isaiah Hemingway and Byron Lars of the Black Design Collective.

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