Coming 2 America Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter Describes How Her Approach Differed From Black Panther

Ruth E. Carter is the woman who brought Wakanda to life in Black Panther, but she had to switch it up for Coming 2 America. The Academy Award-winner talked to Refinery 29 about how she chose to approach the heavily anticipated sequel. A lot of time has passed since Coming to America, which poses some challenges. How has fashion evolved in Zamunda? The answer is that is dial-up the lighthearted tones and lean into the fashion aspect of showcasing their royal family. The athleisure trend was a factor, but also the kinds of flowing gowns that dignitaries would wear around. It’s all very pleasing to the eye and some of the outfits are simply stunning. Check out what she had to say about the challenges down below:

“I didn't do the same kind of research that I did with Wakanda because I felt like this was more of a lighter, more comedic film. And so, it had to have more [about the] fashion,” Carter tells Refinery 29. “I remember the fashion from the first movie, and I really wanted to honor that, but also bring some new fashion that I was seeing around the internet.”

The costume designer also talked about how she tried to address some of the themes with her selections when speaking to BuzzFeed.

“Yes, well with this one we wanted to show the sub-story of KiKi Layne and empowering women, so I did a lot of athleisure wear. The first one had an athletic component where you saw Eddie Murphy dressed in his polo outfit; and so now in this one, we have his daughter, who is dressed in the Zamundan flag on the opening scene, and she's a stick fighter,” Carter said. “We switched from his story to her story. Her story was strong and empowering. Also, we wanted to take Zamunda into contemporary ideas and contemporary Africa. I really wanted to be a little bit more world-inclusive.”

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She continued, “The first one did have a little sari fabric in it, but I wanted to expound on that. So I wanted to show, not only can I put some Indian fashion in, but I can also show a little bit of South Africa with Ndebele prints on the Royal staff. I wanted to show a little bit of inclusivity of the continent and of the world.”

Did you enjoy the costumes in the film? Let us know down in the comments!