After becoming the first black costume designer to have her name immortalized on a Hollywood Star at the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard; Oscar award winning costume designer, Ruth E Carter, has been recognized with a NAACP Vanguard Award for Costume Design.
This year’s (2022) NAACP Image Award is the first time that the award show recognizes costume design.
“My heart is so warm and so open to this honor of opening up this category. I used to always wonder why the NAACP Image Awards weren’t bringing us from behind the camera to in front of the camera,” Ruth E Carter said during her speech at a “Colors Behind the Look: A Celebration of Fashion, Costume Design and Glam” event in conjunction with the week-long awards program where she accepted her award. “We actually are working it out for the actors behind closed doors, we are image-makers. We are image-makers; and we are a force to be reckoned with,”
After Carter’s speech, NAACP reps also announced the show is adding two new categories for next year, costume design and hair and make-up. The awards event also honored the legacy of late fashion Icons; Andre Leon Talley, Virgil Abloh.
Ruth E Carter
Carter’s notable credits include; Malcolm X, What’s Love Got to Do With It, Dolemite is My Name, and Marvel’s Black Panther; for which she won an Oscar Award for Best Costume Design in 2019,according to the LA Times.
“I didn’t start at this profession wanting to be the first Black costume designer, I knew that space had not been occupied; but I just really wanted to be the best costume designer. I studied all kinds of costume designers’ work, I went through the industry and dealt with the ups and downs of being an African American woman. I had to deal with the fact that maybe you know how to do any kind of a film; but they’re not going to let you….So, I didn’t start out to be a ‘Black costume designer,’ but as a Black woman in this industry, I had to fight, ”- Ruth E. Carter.