Award-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter is partnering with H&M to debut her first-ever fashion line on Thursday. The lauded designer is a hot commodity after winning an Oscar, becoming the first Black woman to win an Academy Award in costume design for her work in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther.
Drawing inspiration from the late 1980s and early 1990s, the 11-piece Ruth Carter x H&M collection shares a similar aesthetic to Spike Lee films like Do the Right Thing and She’s Gotta Have It. The collection, labeled the Ruthless collection, features cool color combinations and maintains positive imagery throughout a series of hoodies, joggers, tops and a bucket hat (my favorite piece).
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Carter said she named her line Ruthless because that’s her on-set nickname."I’ve always wanted to turn that around and say, ‘Yeah, that’s right!’ It’s kind of giving you a charge to be ruthless and just go for it!”
Although she is excited to bring her new form of art to fans and supporters, Carter says that she is a storyteller by nature and is adjusting to being viewed as a fashion designer.“People think that I got into costume design because of fashion, but it was really the vivid stories that I was reading by poets and playwrights that made me want to get into storytelling through costume design,” Carter told The Hollywood Reporter. “Fashion was not on my radar. I was, rather, introduced to fashion through costume design. I started to understand how to use color and fashion and direct it to character.”
Carter was also nominated for an Oscar in costume design for her talent in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X and Steven Spielberg’s Amistad. She just wrapped up design work for Craig Brewer’s Coming 2 America and has over 40 film credits on her resume.Carter isn’t the only Black Panther star to delve into the fashion world following the film’s wild success. Actor Michael B. Jordan put together a small collection for Coach last fall that was based on popular anime character Naruto.
The first installment consisted of parkas, jean jackets, pullovers, backpacks, utility packs and hybrid sneaker boots. The collection was sold at global pop-ups in Japan, Malaysia and the United States, as well as the dedicated Coach experience in the VIZ Media booth at New York Comic-Con last fall.Between Carter and Jordan, Black Panther fans will surely hit the theaters in the latest drip for the sequel in 2022.