Coming 2 America Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter Shares Inspiration For Looks

Ruth E. Carter is the woman responsible for the looks in Coming 2 America, and she shared her inspirations for the film in a recent BuzzFeed interview. A lot of time has passed since the original film, and the wardrobe should reflect the changing times. Carter knew there had been a shift in fashion and the sensibilities of spending much of Coming 2 America in Africa. Zamunda plays host to a lot of the action surrounding Eddie Murphy’s character and their family. The costume designer also managed to allude to some of the themes with her introduction of athleisure to the fashions on-set. A lot of people got a kick out of seeing Maxhosa Africa pieces in one of the trailers. That South African brand wasn’t huge in America but acts as a coy signifier of where we are now. So, things are a little bit different, but there is still an air of elegance to the proceedings.

“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 explained. “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.”

She added, “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.”

Check out the official synopsis for Coming 2 America:


"Set in the lush and royal country of Zamunda, newly-crowned King Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his trusted confidante Semmi(Arsenio Hall) embark on an all-new hilarious adventure that has them traversing the globe from their great African nation to the borough of Queens, New York – where it all began."

Did you love the costumes in Coming 2 America? Let us know down in the comments!