Ruth E. Carter was born April 10, 1960 and is an American costume designer for film and television, with over 40 films to her credit, who has mastered the look of multiple periods and genres in envisioning the clothing and overall appearance of a character or performer.
Carter began her career working as an intern in her hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts and at the Santa Fe Opera. She moved to Los Angeles in 1986.
While working at the Los Angeles Theater Center, Carter met director Spike Lee, who hired her for his second film, School Daze (1988), and with whom she worked on a number of films thereafter, including Do the Right Thing (1989), Mo’ Better Blues (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), and Malcolm X (1992). Carter has continued to work on films for Spike Lee, including Oldboy (2013), Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2014), and Chi-Raq (2015).
In addition to designing costumes for the films of Spike Lee, Carter has worked with legendary directors such as Steven Spielberg and John Singleton, and has dressed actors from Denzel Washington to Josh Brolin, and actresses from Angela Bassett to Jane Fonda.
Carter is also known for her work on What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993), Serenity (2005), Four Brothers (2005), Sparkle (2012), The Butler (2013) directed by Lee Daniels, and Selma (2014) directed by Ava DuVernay.
Carter’s most recent work was on the Afrofuturist superhero Marvel Cinematic Universe film Black Panther (2018), directed by Ryan Coogler. Her costumes were inspired by many traditional African garments, including those of the Maasai and Ndebele people.
She traveled to southern Africa to draw aesthetic inspirations and received permission to incorporate traditional Lesotho designs into the film’s costumes.
In 2021, Carter received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the film category.
You can check her personal website HERE