Oscar and Emmy Nominated Costume Designer Ruth Carter Takes Center Stage at Bowie State University

Her first major film project, “School Daze,” was full of dazzling, contemporary styles, cutting edge fashion and bold colors. And she’s only gotten better: her most recent work on “Black Panther” helped to make that film the third highest earning film in Hollywood history.

Ruth Carter, who has been twice nominated for Oscar and Emmy awards, took the stage at Bowie State University’s Fine and Performing Arts Center on September 27. The panel discussion was hosted by Professor Maggy Francois and Jennifer Jean-Pierre.

The event was co-sponsored by PGAHC.

Ms. Carter discussed a range of topics including her inspirations, overcoming work-related fears and coping with pressure, her favorite projects and actors/actresses, working with Marvel Studios and the origins of how some of her work came into being.

“Working at Marvel is like being in the CIA,” Carter said. “Everything is top secret, they want to be sure nothing gets out. So, [Black Panther Director] Ryan [Coogler] and I had to develop our own little code in order for him to get information to me so I could work on the designs.”

When asked about the overall creative process, Carter said the project is a collective effort with each professional bringing their own expertise to the table.

“We don’t get caught up in finger pointing or grandstanding,” she explained. “Everyone brings so much to the work so it’s a shared process.”

In talking about the path to success, the veteran designer was clear that students need to survey their own surroundings and develop their own strategies.

“You can’t blaze your path through my lens,” she said.

Carter was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award by BSU President Dr. Aminta Breaux.