Ruth Carter the Dope Designer Behind Black Panther
Within the last past few weeks the movie Black Panther has broken box office records. It is predicted to hit astronomical sales this weekend. Thus far Black Panther has grossed $763 million in domestic and foreign sales.
Ruth Carter the Dope Designer Behind Black Panther has worked as a film & costume designer in Hollywood for over 30 years. Of course Ruth Carter is not new to the game. She is a seasoned film designer who’s work can be seen in a number of movies, such as; Amistad, Selma, The Five Heartbeats, School Daze, and Malcolm X, to name a few. Some of her most popular designs are worn in Gabrielle Union’s cable series on BET, Being Mary Jane.
When joining Black Panther in July 2016 Carter admits to being required to work with a large team and an even larger budget, but she attacked it none-the-less. With the need to create around 1,000 costumes Carter’s vast experience made her the perfect choice.
The fusion of futuristic and indigenous African dress created what we now call “Afrofutrism”. This look was influenced by the Zulu traditional headdress of married women worn by Angela Basset in the movie, the Lesotho blankets and the Maasai, Tuareg and Ndebele. Carter’s inspiration grew out of various African tribes minus the influence of Europeans and from real black experiences.
The Grio asked Ruth Carter the dope designer behind Black Panther what she wanted to make with her costuming her reply was as follows:
“That you can love Africa,” Carter said. “That you can learn Africa. That just because you see something African doesn’t meant that it defines the whole continent. It’s a world continent. North Africa is different from south; east is different from west, and that’s what we tried to project. It’s a worldview. And that’s what I hope people feel when they come out, they feel like they have gained a worldview.”
“I can’t say enough about how the pageantry of the film has connected with people in such a beautiful way”. “People want to honor themselves, they want to honor culture, they want to honor Africa. They just want to be happy to be who they are, not trying to be something they aren’t.” Ruth Carter