On Saturday night, Halle Berry took the time to share her jubilation over the successes of her friend, Ruth Carter, on Instagram. Ruth Carter is an incredibly successful costume designer in Hollywood, with over 40 film credits to her name. Her most recent achievement was her costume designs for the film, Black Panther, which was a resounding success.
New York Magazine just released an article featuring Carter’s long history of sartorial successes, which is what prompted Berry’s shout out. The article is titled “Ruth E. Carter’s Threads of History,” and it focuses on how Carter’s costume designs have contributed to the construction of black identity.
Berry’s post included a photo from the article of T’Challa’s Black Panther suit from the film Black Panther with a partial view of Carter herself facing the suit, hand upraised, almost stroking her design, and wearing a replica of Radio Raheem’s knuckle ring from the film Do the Right Thing, directed by Spike Lee, and costume designed by Carter.
The second photo that Berry shared was a promo pic for her cult classic film, B*A*P*S. The photo showed Berry as her character, Nisi, and actress Natalie Desselle, who played Mickey, in the film. BAP is an acronym that stands for Black American Princesses. Carter was the costume designer for that film as well.
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@iamruthecarter is hands down one on my most favorite costume designers. One of the absolute best parts of shooting #BAPS was her iconic costume design – so happy that the @newyorkermag is giving her the recognition she rightly deserves!! #BlackPanther ???? @awolerizku ????️ #DoreenStFelix
Carter has long been involved in projects that have helped to shape black identity through film. She has worked on such films as Steven Spielberg’s Amistad, Brian Gibson’s What’s Love Got to Do with It, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and Ava DuVernay’s Selma, to name a few. She has also collaborated with Spike Lee on more than 14 projects, including such films as Malcolm X and School Daze. Carter also received the Career Achievement Award in 2002 at the American Black Film Festival, among others. She has long been recognized as a positive and impactful force for establishing black identity and culture through her designs by the international film community.
“You have to believe in yourself. The bigger the film, the more experts come to the foreground and go, ‘You should do this way–this is how we do it here.’ But I believed in myself,” Carter told Fast Company in an interview. “That’s my biggest lesson, is that I do have a voice and I can stand behind it. And as long as I’m supported, I can do some good things with my artistry.”