Tag Archives: Ruth Carter


2018 Leaders Breakfast Keynote Speaker, Ruth Carter, wins Oscar

Congratulations are in order to Ruth Carter, the first African-American woman to ever win an Oscar for costume design. She was awarded this honor on Sunday, based upon her recent costume creations for Marvel’s mega blockbuster, Black Panther. Ruth recently served as IIDA Southern California Chapter’s keynote speaker at the Los Angeles Leaders Breakfast in September 2018. Over 400 design community attendees enjoyed Ruth’ s presentation, as she shared personal sketches and explained the methodologies for over 1,000 Black Panther hand crafted costumes.

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Ruth has provided her creative expertise to more than 40 films, earning Academy Award nominations in Best Costume Design for her work on Malcom X (1992) and Amistad (1997). However, this past Sunday’s 91st Academy Awards, marked Ruth’s very first Oscar win. During her speech, Ruth describes what the win symbolizes: “It means that we’ve opened up the door… Finally, the door is wide open. I’ve been struggling and digging deep and mentoring and doing whatever I could to raise others up, and I hope from my example there is hope and other people can come in and win an Oscar just like I did.”

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During a recent interview with FastCompany, Ruth discusses her ideation on conceptualizing the costumes, stating that she wanted the costumes to not portray typical superheroes; “We didn’t want them to be these sexy girls walking around with a guy in a bulletproof catsuit. We wanted them to be serious fighters”. Furthermore, Ruth goes on to describe where her iconic costume design originating, largely from the east African tribe known as the Maasai. The color red was important symbolism: ”This brilliant red is a consistent color in Africa. So I upped the ante on the tone… I wanted it to be almost like an intimidating red, just intense and saturated”.

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Photo Credit: Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Pictures

IIDA Southern California is thrilled to congratulate Ruth Carter on her recent Oscar win and forever changing the history of costume design. We are thankful to have experienced Ruth speak at our recent Leaders Breakfast event, along with honoree Jayna Zweiman, co-creator and mastermind behind The Pussyhat Project, a global women’s movement which has reached over 600 rallies across multiple continents. To see more photos from the 2018 Leaders Breakfast event, click here.

Congratulations Ruth!


Leaders Breakfast 2018 Recap

What a great morning our design community shared at the 2018 Leaders Breakfast, returning to the Intercontinental Wilshire Grand in Downtown Los Angeles. With a room full of 400 attendees, the early Thursday morning was praised as “one of the best Leaders Breakfasts yet”. The community rose early to enjoy company, mimosas and great inspiration. To see the entirety of the event photos, please visit here.

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Keynote Speaker Ruth Carter, Moderator Cheryl Durst and Honoree Jayna Zweiman

Honoree Jayna Zweiman shared her personal stories behind passion projects Pussyhat Project and the Welcome Blanket. She proudly wore one of her handcrafter pink hats, representing a global women’s movement which appeared nearly overnight, with millions of women, men and children gathering across 600 rallies internationally to sport their hand-made knitted garments.

Jayna Zweiman, Leaders Breakfast 2018 Honoree
Jayna Zweiman, Leaders Breakfast 2018 Honoree

The keynote presentation was truly fascinating, as Ruth Carter, costume designer for the Black Panther, shared her behind the scenes sketches and stories for designing over 1,000 costumes. Ruth has practiced the craft of costume design for over three decades across over 40 films including Academy Award nominations on Malcom X (1992) and Amistad (1997). Cheryl Durst, CEO of IIDA, joined Ruth on stage to moderate a question and answer panel halfway through the presentation to facilitate questions which spoke to designers across Southern California.

Keynote Speaker, Ruth Carter
Keynote Speaker, Ruth Carter

Thank you to all who attended, we hope you enjoyed the program this year! We are appreciative of the 8 event sponsors (which has also set a Leaders Breakfast record)

  • California Lighting Sales
  • EuroWest Decorative Surfaces
  • Geiger
  • Maharam
  • Patcraft
  • SitOnIt
  • Taslimi
  • United Interiors

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And a huge thank you to our committee this year, in which this event would not be possible.

  • Dave Fridlund, Wirt Design Group
  • Debra Haas, Interior Office Solutions
  • Stephanie Heiple, Ware Malcomb
  • Alicia Perez, Withee Malcolm
  • Susan Suhar, HDR
  • Sylvia Yoo, Herman Miller

Black Panther Costume Designer as Leaders Breakfast Keynote Speaker

IIDA Southern California Chapter Leaders Breakfast committee is honored to present this year’s keynote speaker, Oscar- nominated costume designer, Ruth Carter. She has been most recently recognized for her work on Marvel’s latest blockbuster, Black Panther. Ruth has an impressive more than 40 films under her belt, earning Academy Award nominations in Best Costume Design for her work on Malcom X (1992) and Amistad (1997). Numerous times she has collaborated with Spike Lee.

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During a recent interview with FastCompany, Ruth discusses her ideation around the costumes, stating that she wanted the costumes to not portray typical superheroes; “We didn’t want them to be these sexy girls walking around with a guy in a bulletproof catsuit. We wanted them to be serious fighters”. Furthermore, Ruth goes on to describe where her iconic costume design originating, largely from the east African tribe known as the Maasai. The color red was important symbolism: ”This brilliant red is a consistent color in Africa. So I upped the ante on the tone… I wanted it to be almost like an intimidating red, just intense and saturated”.

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Pictures
Photo Credit: Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Pictures

IIDA Southern California is proud to present Social Justice as the theme of this year’s Leaders Breakfast. Ruth Carter will share her experience behind the masterpieces and share her personal journey transcending through the fashion design industry. Additionally, program will feature honoree Jayna Zweiman, co-creator and mastermind behind The Pussyhat Project, a global women’s movement which has reached over 600 rallies across multiple continents. Jayna will be speaking about her newest passion project, the Welcome Blanket, a crowd-sourced action which invites participants to knit, crochet and sew blankets for new immigrants seeking resettlement. IIDA SoCal extends the invitation to attend our Leaders Breakfast 2018 event to our entire community.

Thursday, September 13th, 2018, 7-10am
InterContinetal Los Angeles Downtown
900 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Click here to purchase tickets and become an event sponsor today. For more information about the event, visit the event page here.