By KJ Yossman | June 22, 2021
Variety: ‘Cruella’ Designer Snubbed Over Licensing, Costume Designers Guild Decries ‘Unfair Practices’
Costumes for film and television can often become so iconic that they transcend the actors who wore them. Simply envision a blue, gingham pinafore and a pair of red shoes or a little black dress and a string of pearls: these costumes conjure characters well before the movie stars who played them.
Yet costume designers — many of whom are women — are rarely compensated or credited for the myriad ways in which their creativity and hard work generate revenue off-screen, whether through dolls, Halloween costumes or licensed fashion collaborations.
A recent incident over a “Cruella”-inspired fashion line, which was licensed, designed and released without costume designer Jenny Beavan’s knowledge, has finally pushed a number of fellow costumers — including the Costume Designers Guild itself — into publicly calling out the “unfair” practice, despite the risk it poses to their own careers.
Oscar-winning Beavan is the brains behind the sumptuous outfits in the new “Cruella” film, starring Emma Stone and Emma Thompson. She has been nominated 10 times for best costume design at the Academy Awards and has won twice, once for “A Room with a View” and another time for “Mad Max: Fury Road”. When she worked on “Cruella,” she says, she “never stopped thinking” about her work. And, she admits: “I’ve got what every [costume] designer has, which is a bad right shoulder from heaving heavy costumes off racks.”