Ruth E Carter breaks glass ceiling with two Oscar wins as a Black woman
American costume designer Ruth E Carter, celebrated for her work on Marvel’s Black Panther became the first black woman to win two Oscars.
Carter was awarded her second Oscar for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. She won her first Oscar for Black Panther.
The designer was up against Catherine Martin for Baz Luhrmann’s biopic Elvis and Shirley Kurata’s costumes for the multiverse epic Everything Everywhere All At Once.
“I pulled myself up from my bootstraps,” Carter said after the win.
“I started – single-parent household. I wanted to be a costume designer. I studied, I scraped, I dealt with adversity in the industry that sometimes didn’t look like me. I endured.”
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“So I feel that this win opens the door for other young costume designers may not think that this industry is for them and hopefully they’ll see me and they’ll see my story and they’ll think that they can win an Oscar too.”
Carter has previously been nominated in 1992 for Malcolm X, then in 1997 for Steven Spielberg’s Amistad, before her wins for Black Panther franchise.
One of Carter’s earliest roles was on 1989’s Do the Right Thing, directed by Spike Lee – who has become one of her longtime collaborators over a three-decade career.
For Wakanda, Carter had to account for the immersion of her designs in water. “We put it underwater, and everything just went up. I had to remake things that were tested. I had to weigh them down, and sometimes they were too light, other times they were too heavy,” she told Variety.
Carter’s work in Black Panther has been commended for its Afrofuturist vision on superhero costumes, drawing from Indigenous inspirations across the Africa, according to the Guardian.