Did you all go see Black Panther yet? Well I know you all were amazing by the acting and the storyline, but there is no Wakanda without the women behind it! I got a chance to interview the two women responsible for creative the beautiful world of Wakanda which is  Ruth E. Carter (costume design) and Hannah Beachler(production design). How cool is that?


©Marvel Studios 2018

©Marvel Studios 2018

©Marvel Studios 2018


This is a honorable moment in black history for sure, but we can all agree the there would be no Wakanda coming to life on the big screen without the talents of these ladies. Everything was filmed and designed in Atlanta, and these women took creative to the next level in the Marvel Universe. They brought Afrofuturism to life, made sure a lot of authentic African culture was immersed all in the film, and also made sure each set design and costume manifested Wakanda and the entire film into the beautiful brillance that we all ‘Marveled’ at (pun intended). Check out the interview on how they brought Black Panther to life with a little (or a lot) of Black Girl Magic.

Hannah Beachler(production design)

How traveling for research to Africa helped her with the Black Panther set creation

I come on first. Production designer’s usually on films first after the director, hired by the director and the producers. And, you know, Ryan he kinda just like texted me and he was like, yeah, I’m [UNINTELLIGIBLE] to come in. You know, of course I had seen that it was announced that he was doing it. And come in and do this. So, you know, process was — and he was really good about guiding me — is starting at the macro. And it was really about like where is Wakanda in — on the continent of Africa, you know, because that’s going to then determine everything that goes around.

And we kind of set it in sort of eastern sub-Saharan Africa.  So, basically you can kind of place it on the border of DRC like right above Burundi and Rwanda. So there was like Kibuye was there, Kenya, Uganda, above Uganda, Sudan. So, that’s sort of where we are. And we also took from Omo Valley tribes in Ethiopia. So you go down a little bit, but we wanted to keep it sub-Saharan. We wanted to keep it very specific. We also — I reached into Western Nigeria, so the [SOUNDS LIKE: Efik] people and the Igbo people and their [UNINTELLIGIBLE] dealing, which you’ll see in the film a lot.

So, I did reach into Nigeria, Lagos. Did a lot of research in Nairobi and the bigger cities around — and Kenya and in South Africa, Joburg, Cape Town just for some of the architecture. And I looked at lotta older architecture. So, that’s really where my process started really big. Where are we? And then it was like what is the typography of the land? Next step is where does each tribe live on that land and why? And what is each tribe’s history. So then I go down and dot through each tribes’ history, and like this is why they live here. There is a story and a reason behind every single thing you see [CHUCKLES] on that screen coming from me and coming from Ruth.

Hannah Beachler at Oribi Gorge Photo Credit: MARVEL STUDIOS/Disney

Table Mountain Capetown Photo Credit MARVEL STUDIOS/Disney

Paarl Rock South Africa 2016 Photo Credit: MARVEL STUDIOS/Disney

The impact of creating a set to authentic bring the fictional Wakanda to look like an authentic African nation

Every single tiny, little — you know, I’m gettin’ a little bit of chills, because it really is. Like people — it’s real. Like if I was go into a [SOUNDS LIKE: yombi] like, oh, my gosh. But it is so — intentional. And really meaningful and thoughtful and everything that we did from the colors to the every little thing. I think we were in a couple like really personal spaces. And if you look around, you’re gonna see that character. And I think a lot of the process for me was taking big spaces and making them feel intimate. Because that’s how the continent felt me to when I was there. When I was in South Africa, it’s like you look around and it’s these giant spaces, you know, even when you’re in the city, but there’s an intimacy and that comes from the culture and the people. So, that’s really where I started my whole thing and, you know, just kept, you know, working that research and development for that entire time that we were on there.

Black Panther Casino Scene Photo Credit MARVEL STUDIOS/Disney

Hannah explains the magnitude on collaborating with Ruth on the creative sector of the set

I know Ruth can probably — this is really funny. When I first walked [CHUCKLES] into your so she — I mean it — I went on forever. First of all, I’ve never see anything so big. It was the top of floor of an entire building, and I’m telling you it was ginormous. And I walked in and I — the whole time [CHUCKLES], I don’t even know. I was on another planet.

RC :    She had so much fun when she walked in. That’s why we’re laughing.

HB :    The wall — I mean a wall of just this beautiful collage of, you know, references.

RC :    We did a vision board.

HB :    Oh, my gosh. It was a huge board.

RC :    There was this gigantic world. Maybe it was —

HB :    Masks from all different tribes with just like —

RC :    — ten times the size of — [OVERLAP]

HB :    — everywhere. The level of — like I’ve never seen, you know, seamstresses, leather workers, jewelry — metal workers, jewelry —

RC :    Mold makers.

HB :    This is the woman —

RC :    We had a mold room. We had a jewelry room.

HB :    Yeah, the department have all of this. And I’m walking around with [CHUCKLES] Ruth and she’s showing me stuff. Every time she’d show me somethin’, I’d be like yeaggghhhhhh. [LAUGHS] Yes. Yes. My edges got snatched. My edges. So, I mean that is the — everything. Ruth laughed the whole time. The whole time she was laughin’ because it was really that. You had never seen anything like it in your life. Either — I’ve never been in a store in this country where it is represented — complete black culture. Not ever.

Ruth E. Carter (costume design)

How she felt being selected to do the costume designs for Black Panther cast 

A warm feeling. You know when you’re in the right place and in the right space. That’s what I felt like when I left. And I knew that Marvel takes a while to make their decisions. So, I made sure I said to Ryan, you know, let me know, you know. Somebody else could be knocking on the door behind you. But they did. They made the decision and there I came.

Ruth E. Carter behind the scenes on set with Ryan Coogler (director) and Winston Duke as M’Baku Photo Credit: MARVEL STUDIOS/Disney

Ruth explain how working in collaboration with Hannah brought Black Panther creativity together

It was really a matter of me starting out being a really good listener, really getting into what they had done, understanding what they had done. I was in Hannah’s office sitting across from her like let me see everything. And she said, hey, I’ve got this manual. [CHUCKLES] I did. And it outlines everything. [LAUGHS] And I open it up and there’s like a map of Wakanda. It has a royal palace in the middle.

It has districts of — that are explained to the hilt. I was like how long did it take you to do this manual? Everything is written out. The Insivity language is in there and you know what it means. So, I bring the manual back to my team and I’m like, everybody, study this. [LAUGHS] Study this. Study this. I’m not — we are going to call these districts by the names that they made up [OVERLAP] in the office. I want boards. I want images.

We were looking at Afropunk. We’re looking at modern fashion. We’re moving everything forward. Everything has to be beautiful. We are not going to lie in any stereotypes at all. Whatsoever. And we wanna [APPLAUSE] this present this world as a kingdom. What if Africa was not colonized?

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER
Dora Milaje Conceptual Character and Costume Design Sketch
Costume Design: Ryan Meinderding and VisDev Team
Concept Artist: Anthony Francisco
©Marvel Studios 2018

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER Nakia Conceptual Character and Costume Design Sketch Costume Design: Ruth Carter Concept Artist: Keith Christensen ©Marvel Studios 2018

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER T’Challa Conceptual Character and Costume Design Sketch Costume Design: Ruth Carter Concept Artist: Keith Christensen ©Marvel Studios 2018

Ruth E. Carter explaining her enthusiasm on creating the costumes

I thought, wow, this is like really cool how you can mix ancient indigenous tribal culture with modern. We don’t want to make a documentary. This is a futuristic place. This is a place that has the richest mineral known on earth, Vibranium. And, you know, they’re aware of it. They’re aware of their richness. So, let’s just move that forward. Looking at Afropunk, those images that you see on your phone, going through your Instagram, you see that beauty. And that’s some of the beauty that we wanted to infuse. And when you see the Dora Milaje, you see the Maasai tribe, you see the Himba.

The same drape that that girl in the grocery store pushing the cart had in front of her body with the little ringlets on the end of the leather, I put that on the back of the Dora Milaje so that when they walked in the room, Ryan Coogler said I wanna hear them.Can we put stuff on their ankles so that we hear them coming? And hearing them coming on set, I didn’t hear them coming in the — I mean arriving in the movie. But on set you can hear them.

And I felt like the color, we upped the ante on the color. If you go to Africa, you see people walking around with color. You see a brown guy with a yellow shirt [CHUCKLES] and red pants. That’s just the norm. So, we’re not reinventing anything. We’re just bringing it out. And we’re just honoring it and holding it up. So, you know, that’s how we started.

So when you look at this movie, please give these women all the praise for making Wakanda come to life. I felt the African energy, even though I have never been. All of the clothing and little details came from real African countries, tribes and traditions that were purposely embedded in the set and costume. So creative and full of life. This is the Africa we deserved to see! The beauty of a country, different Pan-African cultures mixed in to bring Wakanda into fruition. I literally wish I can book my ticket to Wakanda now, this is how real it felt. Look I am close enough, they filmed the majority of the movie in Atlanta (many in Tyler Perry Studios) so I do get to have a little credit that I am part Wakandian!

Please go see the movie if you haven’t and Marvel at the beauty on how all of the production design and costume came to life!

Synopsis Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

Black Panther is in theaters now!


BLACK PANTHER official website: https://marvel.com/movies/movie/224/black_panther
BLACK PANTHER on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackPantherMovie
BLACK PANTHER on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theblackpanther
Marvel Studios on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marvelstudios/

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend an all-inclusive press trip, sponsored by Disney. All opinions are my own.

Have You Seen Black Panther?

About the Blogger - Kiwi the Beauty

Kiwi is the free spirited blogger and content creator of KiwiTheBeauty.com. As a digital influencer, she produces creative inspiration around beauty, lifestyle, media and travel leisure. Her life mantra is to make manifesting fun! When she’s not blogging, she is eating trendy hipster food, carrying crystals, making it rain at her local farmer's market and binge brunching. Follow her on her blog and social media at kiwithebeauty.com + @kiwithebeauty

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  • Stacie says:

    They did SUCH an amazing job on the costuming in Black Panther. I read an article the other day that showed several examples of how they pulled real African styles into this fictitious world. Very cool.

  • Cinny says:

    I love the research sites they go to, always so beautiful and intriguing. It really gives credibility to the work and set up that’s done for these movies.

  • Have not seen it yet but the creativity of these women is so inspiring. It is amazing how they created the costmes which are inventive and stylish.

  • Liz Mays says:

    It’s crazy thinking about all of the research and creativity that had to go into the design of Wakanda and the characters. I really like how everything ended up looking!

  • Alison Rost says:

    A lot of people don’t really pay attention to the amount of work that’s put into costumes and the set. I think it’s awesome to hear these women talk about how they made it all come to life!

  • Sarah Bailey says:

    It is amazing all the work and details that go on behind what comes onto the big screen. What an amazing pair of women these are! Lovely to get to know more about them.

  • Monica says:

    I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this movie and it’s meaning and significance. I can’t wait to see it. So glad you were able to be a part of this awesome event too. What an honor!

  • I can not wait to see this movie, we tried twice this weekend and sold out 🙁 These costumes and the women who made them look & sound absolutley amazing. I really enjoyed reading your post.

  • Vian says:

    Black panther is coming soon. The costumes are awesome. I can’t wait to watch the movie! thank you for this awesome review.

  • So much to appreciate about how these women brought to life the entire movie with their hard work and their creativity and talent! It’s just really amazing to see Wakanda unfold.

  • i havent seen the movie but now ive seen the costume, im curious!

  • Theresa says:

    I love to hear about the important roles women play in bringing things together. Both of them sound creative. No wonder why the movie is such a success when you have awesome women bringing their talents to the table.

  • I super love the Nakia costume design! The movie has been showing here for two weeks now and sadly haven’t found time to see it yet.

  • Kristi says:

    At first I had no plans to see the movie in the theater and was going to wait until it was out on DVD but after all I’ve been hearing we have plans to see it this weekend.

  • Toni | Boulder Locavore says:

    What an opportunity! I was really amazed at the costumes and designs in the movie! Really awesome!!

  • Dee Jackson says:

    I loved the costumes in this movie. It is just amazing how talented the entire staff is

  • Sheena Steward says:

    The costumes are as much a part of the storyline as the words the actors speak. These ladies did an incredible job and hopefully their work will be acknowledged and rewarded. Congrats to you for being able to do such a great interview.

  • Cathleen says:

    I have been hearing so many good things about this movie. Definitely on my to-watch list!

  • Amber Myers says:

    These are the BEST costumes! They are all unique and I love the colors used. The women here did a wonderful job.

  • I haven’t seen it yet! These costumes are awesome! It makes me want to see the movie even more.

  • Aashima says:

    The movie is on my list. I am sure you’d have a lot of fun in this interview, thats a great opportunity.

  • The costume designs were everything in this movie! I can’t wait to see what the costumes for the second movie look like. Thanks for sharing this interview!

  • Alice says:

    Wow! That s an amazing article, I love to learn about new things and that definitely something interesting! Thanks for sharing!

  • Alice says:

    Wow! That s an amazing article, I love to learn about new things and that definitely something interesting! Thanks for sharing!
    PS: i love the costumes and the makeup!

  • Johnny says:

    The costume design for this movie looks incredible. So much work detail has gone into it.

  • A lot of people forget that the behind the scenes is a lot of work too! This was a great read, costume design did great work. Thanks for sharing.

  • What an awesome interview! I am so excited to see this movie but haven’t had a chance too yet!

  • Kristi Ann says:

    Ahhhh! You have me wanting to see this movie soooo bad!!! Must find time!

  • Eva says:

    The outfits were just stunning! There really should be a fabulous clothing line in the works.

  • Blush ri says:

    This was such a good read I haven’t seen the film yet but I can feel the buzz from the interview. I am so excited to be Alive to witness this moment in history this film has made such an impact!

  • Wanda Lopez says:

    I can’t express how much I’m loving your posts about the Black Panther. I am so inspired by the women in this film. So empowered.

  • Rosey says:

    Happy to give the women their due praise. 🙂 You are really getting some interest going for this movie. I can’t wait to see it anyway, but the more I hear, the sooner I wish we were going!

  • Anne Yedlin says:

    I’ve heard fantastic things about the movie and I can’t wait to see it. What a great interview.I know that must have been a fun one to do.

  • Lauren says:

    I’ve heard great things about the movie. Thank you for sharing that a lot goes on behind the scenes. We sometimes forget that it’s about more than the actors.

  • I love knowing that these movie makers go out to the places they film to get a real sense of the place so it can infuse their artistry. And it’s so essential to keep the real feel of a place if you want to do it justice in a film. Sounds like some amazing woman who really take their job seriously and did an amazing job here.

  • They are amazingly talented and I certainly hope that they’re recognized in a major way during awards season.

  • Leslie says:

    I absolutely loved the movie and the designs. So much creativity and a great balance between old and new. You can tell they both did their research on African countries yet made it feel fresh like a whole new country.

  • Ruth I. says:

    I’ve been wanting to watch this movie. I have seen a post before about the costume used and the history behind it. Love this post!

  • Agentszerozerosetter says:

    Haven’t seen this movie yet, absolutely curious to see it! Love the creativity of the costumes, such a great job!

  • Khushboo says:

    Didn’t see this movie yet but this movie looks interesting.i liked the costume it’s very creative..

  • Kitty says:

    I really wanna watch this movie… I have been reading a lot of great reviews… will plan sometime sooner as I have a 4 month old it’s hard to go out for a movie…

  • Carissa says:

    I still have not seen the movie (planning on it this weekend), however, the costumes are beautiful! They are really detailed…they did an amazing job!

  • Carissa says:

    I still have not seen the movie (planning on it this weekend), however, the costumes are beautiful! They are really detailed…they did an amazing job!!

  • Laura Dove says:

    Wow they are so talented! I haven’t seen the movie either but it looks like it will be amazing and one we would all enjoy!

  • Michelle Thames says:

    You are out here living your best life!! I have to see this movie, I have to, you all are making it hard not to go see it.

  • Joyce Brewer says:

    I love all the attention to detail the production, costume and makeup team put into this film. I’ve been on an emotional high since I took our son to see the film last week. He’s 7 and it’s stuck with him too. He’s been imagining his life in Wakanda.

  • Courtney CJ says:

    The costume designers -did- that! I finally saw the movie this past Friday and I was so impressed. Everyone looked so regal and I found myself saying “yasss” so may times. Our people are SO talented.

  • Kasi says:

    Kudos to these amazing women! The costumes and set were everything! Loved the movie!

  • I love how they reached back to create some of the elements from real African tribes, and intertwined them in a futuristic fashion for each character in the movie. I love how everyone captured such beauty, grace, and nobility with so much power!

  • I’m proud of them for knowing that they could do it. Sometimes our greatest obstacle is not external, but internal and we sabotage ourselves away from success. I’m proud of all the women in the movie and the costume designer, who owned up to their talents and went for it without backing down.

  • The fashion in this movie was beyond incredible! I’m so happy you got the chance to go out there and do this!

  • Kita says:

    The costumes in this movie were everything. I would love to see her work more and across all movies. IT’s time for all of our creatives to shine.

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