Ruth E. Carter knows a thing or two about the time-consuming process of sifting through vintage and secondhand clothes to put her signature stamp on such projects as “Malcolm X,” “Amistad” and “Black Panther.” “This would involve me traveling to flea markets, tiny vintage stores, attics and basements of collectors around the world, looking for interesting ways to express the period,” says the Oscar-winning costume designer, who now has a new resource at her fingertips via online marketplace Thrilling.
Through the site’s just-launched Thrilling Studio Services program, costume designers and stylists have ready access to more than 1,000 shops (95% of which are women and/or POC-owned, as is Thrilling) and a dedicated team that will scour independent boutiques across 200 cities to present one-of-a-kind pieces for rent or purchase.
“Hollywood spends nearly $1 billion on new clothes for their projects every year, primarily because producers and distributors of new clothing make it extremely easy to access. Creating the first vintage/secondhand Studio Services program was therefore a no-brainer,” says Thrilling CEO and co-founder Shilla Kim-Parker, formerly chief of staff at ABC News and Disney/ABC Television Group, who also touts the eco-friendly aspect of the site, and the importance of supporting small businesses.
Carter — who already has pledged to use the program in her 2022 projects — has been tapped as Thrilling’s first brand ambassador. The program is kicking off with a campaign starring the costume designer in looks inspired by more than 40 film projects spanning her career.
“Thrilling will have a home on my desktop from now on,” says Carter. “I will tap into their site on a regular basis, as the most unique pieces will go fast.” shopthrilling.com