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The “Black Panther” costume designer made Oscars history twice over

By Adam Epstein

Black Panther can’t stop making history.

Ruth E. Carter won the Oscar for best costume design tonight (Feb. 24) for her work on the ground-breaking superhero movie, becoming the first black designer to ever win the award. She also gave Marvel Studios its first-ever Oscar victory.

Not five minutes later, another Black Panther designer made history: Hannah Beachler became the first black nominee to win the Oscar for production design. Together with Carter, the two designers helped turn the fictional African country of Wakanda into a living, breathing, and now Oscar-winning landscape.

They were also just the second and third black women to win an Oscar for something other than acting. The first was Irene Cara, for original song from Flashdance, in 1983.

Black Panther grossed over $1 billion at the box office in 2018 on its way to becoming a global phenomenon. Much of its appeal was due to the work of Carter, whose vibrant, imaginative, futuristic Wakandan wardrobes made the fictional country seem like a real place with a real history. Much of her work, as well as the work of Beachler, was inspired by a broad mix of African cultures.

Here are some of the costumes and sets that earned Carter and Beachler their history-making Oscar wins:

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