Artisans: Elevating Black Designers

Seeking to improve cultural diversity in film and TV projects and commercial shoots, “Judas and the Black Messiah” costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones has established the Black Designer Database.

Launched last year, the database is a resource for costume designers, stylists, and publicists, but Jones began compiling it in 2009 as a tool to reference for her own work. Directors even turned to her for the names of Black creatives. “Since I started, I would organize larger brands and their PR contacts, but I kept a separate tab for Black designers,” she says, “and when I was on projects, I would try to work them into anything I was doing for representation’s sake.”

Jones recently held a pop-up mixer as part of New York Fashion Week. “We had six Black designers come into that space and invited people from Estée Lauder and other brands who wanted to use those designers in their upcoming campaigns,” she says. “The connections being made were amazing.”

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by Jazz Tangcay for Variety Magazine