Representation is important, and that’s no different when it comes to television. As we sit down to enjoy our favorite shows, it’s pivotal to pay tribute to the people behind the scenes that set the stage for our entertainment. Here are five prolific Black creatives who represent the culture while making their mark on television.
Consultant, stylist, and costume designer Shiona Turini has worked her visual magic everywhere from fashion to entertainment. As a costume designer for “Insecure”, Turini has constantly turned out looks that boast style and ingenuity. While “Insecure” is known for highlighting all forms of Black talent, Turini’s vision set a new record with episode 7 of season 5 in which all costumes were created by Black female designers.
Kim Kimble is known for her work as a celebrity hairstylist with clients including Beyonce, Brandy Norwood, Mary J. Blige, Halle Berry, and more. Kimble’s passion for hair has been lifelong. As a teenager, Kim worked in her mother’s salon, before opening her own salon in 1995. While you may remember her from her starring role on the reality television show “L.A. Hair”, she currently leads the hair department responsible for the head-turning looks on HBO’s knockout hit “Euphoria”.
Gaining notoriety as the showrunner for “Grey’s Anatomy”, Shonda Rhimes is one of the most prominent creatives in the industry to date. Named as one of Time Magazine’s Time 100 in their list of 100 most influential people in the world in 2007 and 2021, Rhimes currently has a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal with Netflix. Rhimes’ most recent releases on Netflix include quasi-historical romance “Bridgerton”, and the binge-worthy “Inventing Anna” based on the Anna Delvey story.
Michelle R. Cole
As the costume designer for three Kenya Barris shows (“Black-ish”, “Grown-ish” and “#BlackAF”), Michelle R. Cole is fueled by her father’s advice for her as she went to work in the entertainment industry: "He would say, 'You're Black, don't forget that. But you can do it and there are going to be forces that are going to try and stop you. But don't let them stop you.” (via Fashionista.com) That strength in spirit shines through in the colorful, often Afrocentric costumes Cole has put together in her three-decade-long career and is no doubt the energy that got her six Emmy nominations and the L.A. Confidential Impact Award.
Ayanna J. Kimani
Hailing from Jamaica, Ayanna J. Kimani is a distinctive designer who creates memorable looks for film, television and the red carpet. After university, Kimani moved to California where she got her first taste of the worlds of costume and wardrobe assisting celebrity stylists. Drawing on her own unique personal style full of ethnic prints and classic cuts, Kimani’s work can be seen on “Insecure”, OWN’s “Queen Sugar”, and most recently “All American: Homecoming” on The CW.
These examples of Black excellence continue to motivate us even when the screen is off. Which of these creatives inspire you?