‘I haven’t had a job since March 13’: How costume designers are coping with COVID-19

‘I haven’t had a job since March 13,’ how costume designers are coping with COVID-19

8/7/2020 12:03:00 AM

‘I haven’t had a job since March 13,’ how costume designers are coping with COVID-19

For the costume design community, the last five months have been full of pivots, projects — and lots of Zoom calls.

Financial impact:Havingalready scheduled between-film down time to focus on other projects, Carter said she hasn’t had any costume-design work scuttled as a result of the pandemic although she has missed out on lecture-circuit appearances. “I usually do university lectures around the country where I talk about the behind-the-scenes of making costumes for ‘Black Panther’ and other films,” she said. “But all of that has been canceled.”

Justin Bieber Reveals How 'Holy' Video Tributes the 'Pain, Heartache' and 'Frustration' the Pandemic Has Caused Taylor Swift Pens Time100 Essay About Phoebe Waller-Bridge & Her 'Iconic' 2019 Emmys Photo 2 vehicles hit protesters in Los Angeles as Breonna Taylor protests continue throughout US

In between:Not working isn’t the same as not busy, though, and the ambitious slate of side projects Carter has been focusing on this year includes a coffee-table book for Chronicle Books, an updated and expanded touring exhibition of her costumes (set to open at

SCADin Atlanta in January), and a line of “Coming 2 America” film-inspired fan apparel for Target.Carter also said she’s been busy in her new role as a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ board of governors,. “We are doing a lot for Black Lives Matter,” she said, “and bringing in all kinds of people — international people and people of color — into the academy. So I‘ve actually had the time to really focus on that.”

AdvertisementOutlook:“All of us as freelancers know that there’s going to be a period of time where we’re not working,” Carter said. “That just comes with the territory. And those of us who have just finished [projects] have the luxury of having built-up savings. But for those who are just starting out, this is a difficult time.” She added that for every out-of-work costume designer with promising side projects, there can be dozens of people who are out of work without the same safety net.

“I could have up to 25 people on my staff on average,” she said, “costumers that support [me], seamstresses and tailors that support [my] designs, that build [my] work. They might not have their sights set on being [costume] designers so they can [be flexible] moving from project to project. But when all the projects shut down at the same time, they’re left without any resources.”

Salvador PerezCostume designer and Costume Designers Guild President Salvador Perez at the Costume Designers Guild Awards on Jan. 28. He estimates 90% of the guild’s 1,100 members are unemployed as a result of the pandemic.(Jean-Baptiste Lacroix / AFP via Getty Images)

In addition to being a prolific costume designer for film (including “Drumline,” “Think Like a Man” and three “Pitch Perfect” movies) and television (“Veronica Mars,” “The Mindy Project” and, most recently, “Never Have I Ever”), Perez is also the president of

President Trump's niece, Mary Trump, sues him and his siblings alleging fraud Ret. Adm. on endorsing Biden: Trump is 'most serious threat in my lifetime' Today in History

, which represents more than 1,100 costume designers, assistant costume designers and costume illustrators — approximately 90% of which, Perez said, are currently not working.AdvertisementLast gig: Read more: Los Angeles Times »

Trump again casts doubt on whether he'll accept election result in latest unfounded attack on voting process

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he's not sure November's election will be 'honest' because of the use of unsolicited ballots, extending his baseless assertion that widespread mail-in voting is rife with fraud and again casting doubt on if he will accept the results of the election.

State Department lifts March advisory on avoiding international travel amid COVID-19 pandemicThe State Department has lifted a March advisory warning Americans not to travel abroad, though the agency says travelers should still be cautious. 😹😹😹 How’s that going to work?

6 Chinese creatives discuss their “New Normal”Photographers, stylists and fashion designers tell us how COVID-19 has impacted their lives and their work.

Is It Safe To Go Boating During The Coronavirus Pandemic?Experts weigh in on the safety of recreational boat outings in the age of COVID-19.

Southeast L.A. already faced many ills. Now it's the epicenter of coronavirusNewest COVID-19 cases surge in poorer, overcrowded areas of L.A. County There is nothing in any US or World COVID data that shows that this is a significant risk under 65 and healthy. This is a condition that is 99.96% survivable, and a threat, mainly, to the chronically ill. Why are we still doing this?

The Unraveling of AmericaAnthropologist Wade Davis on how COVID-19 signals the end of the American era joeBiden should pick BarackObama for his VP bigfacts nocap thats what we as in Black America want to see so let's go Rolling Stone needs to go back to writing about Music. RS has become the MTV of print media

Michelle Obama Is Going Through a 'Low-Grade Depression' Because of the Two Pandemics'I've gone through those emotional highs and lows that I think everybody feels where you just don't feel yourself.' All Neptune’s seas / could never wash these hands incarnadine. Read the room Michelle. LOL!!! What a fraud she is.