Famed costume designer, Ruth E. Carter, has an incomparable ability to weave an authentic story through the fabric of each character she helps bring to life. One of the most sought-after and renowned costume designers today, she has worked with Hollywood royalty for television and more than 40 films.
Now Ruth is celebrating new royalty in Coming 2 America, which will begin streaming on Amazon Prime on March 5th. Having defined the culture of Wakanda royalty, she is the natural choice to clothe the iconic characters from the country known as Zamunda. For Coming 2 America, Ruth will infuse her signature style and flair, modernizing the looks from the 1988’s Coming to America film, to reveal a stunning spin on Afro-centric fashion.
To get to know this incredible designer, who is #blackroyalty herself, here are 10 reasons why Ruth E. Carter is a living legend.
1. Born in Springfield, Mass., Ruth is the youngest of eight (five brothers and two sisters) and was raised by a single mother—and it was her brother Robert who inspired her to start sketching.
2. Ruth was originally a special education major when she attended Hampton University because she wanted to learn sign language and work for the theater for the deaf, but she later switched her major to theater and was known as the costume designer on campus.
3. She was the first African American to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design. And she was nominated three times for her work on Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, Steven Spielberg’s Amistad and her recent work on Black Panther.
4. Ruth and Spike Lee have worked on 10+ films together, including her first movie, School Daze in 1988, and Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X and Old Boy.
5. Known for her research and diligence to the craft, she has mastered period pieces, especially on ensemble films, like the highly praised Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Ava DuVernay’s Selma.
6. In 2018, Ruth became the first African American to win an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for her incredible designs on the Black Panther, it was also the first Academy Award for Marvel Studios.
7. Ruth’s team traveled throughout Africa and bought pieces from the Maasai and Himba people. Then Ruth traveled to South Africa to draw aesthetic inspiration by many traditional African garments for her work on the Afrofuturist superhero Blank Panther. She received special permission from the Basotho people to incorporate traditional Lesotho designs in the film’s costumes.
8. Ruth won four awards for her work on the Netflix film, Dolemite Is My Name: Critics Choice Movie Award for Best Costume Design, Black Reel Award for Outstanding Costume Design, SDFCS Award for Best Costume Design and Satellite Award for Best Costume Design.
9. Did you know Ruth is the genius behind the wardrobe on some of your favorite TV shows? She has clothed characters on Yellowstone, the mini-series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and the 2016 reboot of Roots—that show earned her an Emmy nomination.
10. Bringing Black Royalty beauty off the screen, Ruth has designed a new look for the limited-edition Crown Royal Collector’s Edition that perfectly blends the decadence of the Crown Royal Fine De Luxe Blended Canadian Whisky with the opulence of her costumes for Coming 2 America.
Please Drink Responsibly. CROWN ROYAL Blended Canadian Whisky. 40% Alc/Vol. The Crown Royal Company, New York, NY.