The 1st Scholarship Tribute award for the Black Design Collective

Yesterday – April 13, 2019 – marked yet another step toward a pivotal year ahead in Fashion Design and the move toward the acknowledgment and contributions of African Americans #BTS  in the Fashion Industry. This time, Costume Designer, Ruth E. Carter is Honored By The Black Design Collective at the FIDM Museum.

Union, Hall, Carter, Dean, Walker

The event was also graced by Being Mary Jane star, Gabrielle Union who had this to say about the celebrated Costume Designer – who also worked with, Union on the BET series:

 “I hope that with Ruth’s win, it really is about change. It really is about pulling up more chairs to the proverbial table, and if they don’t allow us to pull up our chairs, then we say f–k it and build our own house.”

Gabrielle Union

The Black Design Collective

Walker, Dean & Hall (TeenVogue) – Founders of The Black Design Collective

At the top of the page for this organization’s website it states –

 “Black Design Collective is an organization of black designers expressing individual unique design excellence. The organization aims to bring awareness of the history and relevance of the global impact of black design through resources, mentorship, e-commerce platform, and business platforms.”

The purpose is to provide Designers of color a resource for their talents. With its headquarters in Los Angeles – there is a big push for development of young up and coming talent that is looking for a place to start.

(Black Design Collective is) a platform for designers of color to develop, produce and market their products globally as well as create a mentorship program for aspiring designers.

Black Design Collective/Home

The Black Design Collective Founder Roster includes a Who’s Who in fashion design culture as we know it.

Angela Dean – 1987 with her original design of Madonna’s iconic bullet bra corset, Dean helped to catapulte the pop-culture movement of women (and men) wearing lingerie as outerwear. But for some strange reason, French designer, Jean Paul Gaultier was given the credit alone.

Ironically, April 13th also marked the 29th anniversary of the iconic cone bra debut during the Blonde Ambition Tour in, Japan

“When I designed the Bullet Bra Corset, I worked directly with Madonna’s stylist on creating this unique and timeless look.  The idea was to take the classic 50’s bullet bra and give it a modern twist by adding gold tassles to  the tips of the cups  This established .an unforgettable moment.”

Angela Dean (

Kevin Hall – Who resuscitated the Halston brand and has his own namesake brand where he has designed red carpet gowns and on-the-grind looks for Michelle Obama, and countless Celebrities. His designs are effortlessly beautiful, glamorous, and dreamingly fit for the woman who aspires to live a fairytale.

KEVAN HALL – SPRING 2016 – full show from Robertino Fonseca on Vimeo.

Thomas “TJ” Walker  – Mentor, Educator, and Co-Founder of the epic clothing line, CROSS COLOURS. The brand that literally showcased the intensely vibrant colors of urban 90’s Hip-Hop cultural dress. The designer that gave excitement and life to the Bruno Mars and Cardi B throwback nod – “Finesse” music video.

Bruno Mars & Cardi B (unknown) wear CrossColours

Funny, I was just at the FIDM Museum…

Last weekend I just so happen to be touring the Los Angeles FIDM campus attending the annual DEBUT event, showcasing the amazing talented graduates of the Advanced Apparel Design Program. I was fortunate enough to visit the FIDM Museum’s installation of Oscar Winners and Nods for Best Costume Design for 2019. Among these fantastic garments, in the center of the room, graced Ruth E. Carter’s work for the multi-award-winning film, The Black Panther!

Ruth E. Carter

Carter in conversation about shoes for a Kingdom at the Clarks NYC flagship store in 2018

Did you know that from the Black Panther costumes, sparked a plethora of footwear spin-offs? However, only one collaboration had Carter at the design helm. It was with Clarks Shoes. Carter found herself designing footwear for today’s superheroes with Clark’s Originals.

Carter’s design for Clarks (

The Black Panther costumes she designed earned her an Oscar Award for Best Costume Design (2019). The costumes are exquisite and up-close even more amazing in every detail  – even down to the footwear!

Ruth E. Carter – a celebrated designer.

“Nakia’s” Warrior costume

Posted by Tanita Gray on Sunday, April 14, 2019
“Nakia’s” Warrior sandals

Let’s welcome and support the prosperity of this organization, its partnership with FIDM, the CFDA, and other organizations that are uplifting the voices and notoriety of these designers. And to Ruth E. Carter being honored as the organization’s first Scholarship Tribute that will help the new emerging designers shaping the future of fashion.

Tanita Gray

Editor-In-Chief, Publisher and Founder of, and CEO of Shoes Waste. Gray is a footwear, accessory and apparel designer/developer by day - writer and content architect by night. With over 17 years of experience in the fashion industry, you can find her teaching sustainability classes, drawing thumbnails, writing in her journal, giving her husband & children enormous hugs, or eating french fries.

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