Last year, Carter became the first Black woman to win an Academy Award for her costume designs on the set of Ryan Coogler’s hit film, Black Panther.
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Ruth Carter Costume Designer, Oscar Winner — In 91 years, only 3 black women have won Oscars for categories outside of acting. Two of those wins were tonight. How on earth . . .? First let's meet Ruth Carter. She won tonight for Costume Design, and is the only black person to win a in that category ever. . Carter, an expert in period detail, became the first black person to be nominated for the costume design Oscar in 1993 for her work on Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X.” She was again nominated for her costume work on Steven Spielberg’s 1997 slave-ship drama “Amistad.” Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther,” which is up for best picture, marked her third invitation to the high-profile ceremony. . “Marvel may have created the first black superhero, but through costume design, we turned him into an African king,” Carter added. “It’s been my life’s honor to create costumes. Thank you to the academy. Thank you for honoring African royalty and the empowered way women can look and lead onscreen.” - @nytimes . Speaking to press backstage, Carter touchingly said it meant so much to her to win, not only personally, but for the young women who might follow in her footsteps. “I dreamed of this night, and I prayed for this night, honestly,” she said, “not only just for being a hardworking costume designer, but for what it would mean for young people coming behind me [...] Finally, the door is wide open. I’ve been struggling and digging deep and mentoring and doing whatever I could to raise others up, and I hope from my example there is hope and other people can come in and win an Oscar just like I did.” . To her younger self, battling through some 50 films to get to this point, what would Carter say? "I would tell my young self that even through the hard work, what you might have been afraid of, you are doing the right thing, you should not fear, because tomorrow is yours.” - @elleusa — #DailyFeminist #RuthCarter #CostumeDesign #Oscars2019 #91stOscars #BlackPanther #AfricanRoyalty #WakandaForever #TomorrowIsYours
Carter has partnered with H&M and the collection launched today. “I didn’t want to all of a sudden be considered a fashion designer; I still wanted to be a costume designer, inserting myself into the fashion world, so I really had to think about how I wanted to communicate that,” Carter told The Hollywood Reporter.
The Ruth Carter x H&M collection features 11 pieces including tops, hoodies, shorts, joggers and a bucket hat. Each piece is adorned with various logos centering around the colors red, black and green, a nod to the Blackness. The words “Truth” and the phrase “Trust Your Voice” are etched in big letters across many of the items along with personalized quotes from Carter.
“I’ve always been drawn to the Afro future. It’s been called different things throughout the years; back in the ‘90s it was ‘neo-soul’ and there was a lot of interest in colors of the liberation flag (red, black and green) and color-blocking. It’s made a comeback today, which is exciting because I was always inspired by the messaging that the liberation colors represented - being independent and strong, knowing about the authenticity of your culture,” Carter said.
The Oscar-winning designer’s alias onset is “Ruthless.” She’s channeling that energy in her collection to bring the boldest looks and messaging to the forefront. Using that same energy to remind people to “Just go for it!.” It is this energy that she believes has guided her career to the pinnacle that it is at now.
“I am reintroducing the big, strong, saturated liberation colors and the idea of learning to trust my voice as an African American woman who went the distance creatively. I feel very strongly that trusting my voice is what got me to the Dolby stage to win the Oscar.”
In addition to the new collection, Carter has launched an ad campaign in partnership with Hollywood stylist Ade Samuel. The campaign is a spoof of a podcast, hosted by Internet sensation Jay Versace, aptly titled, “And That’s the Truth, Ruth!” In the video, Carter breaks down her reasoning behind the collaboration with a little bit of fashion history.