St. Louis Native Kevin Mayes’ Costume Work On ‘Black Panther’ In Oscar Spotlight | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Native Kevin Mayes’ Costume Work On ‘Black Panther’ In Oscar Spotlight

Feb 21, 2019

The Marvel hit “Black Panther” was undoubtedly one of the biggest films of 2018. It brought the fictional country of Wakanda to the big screen and showcased exuberant sub-Saharan African culture – and St. Louis native Kevin Mayes was a part of that process.

Mayes is a clothing designer who served as the head tailor for the film’s costumes, helping bring the visions of designer Ruth E. Carter to life. “Black Panther” has been nominated for seven Oscars – including best costume design.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Mayes, who attended Normandy High School, ahead of the 91st Academy Awards set to take place Sunday.

Mayes said that a win for the film would signal a change for the movie industry, but also for him as an individual.

“[The Oscars award] means the world,” he continued, “… it helps me grow as a person to know that I can bring someone else's dream and make it into a reality.”

In addition to “Black Panther,” Mayes has worked on other major film projects including “Selma,” the reboot of “Roots” and “Being Mary Jane.”

But he said the Marvel film tops his list as favorite production to work on, and that he enjoyed the challenges of “bringing motherland Africa to life; giving it full spirituality through costumes, textures, fabrics.”

Listen to the full discussion:

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Alex HeuerEvie HemphillLara Hamdan and Jon Lewis give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.