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Four HBCU Aspiring Fashion Designers were Selected to Design Awards Show Dresses for the Acclaimed Costume Designer from the Black Panther Movies

DETROIT, MI – Feb. 14, 2023 – Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design (PLC) today announced the winners of the “Icons of Afrofuture” Design Challenge in partnership with Ruth E. Carter, the Academy Award-winning costume designer for the films Black Panther and the recently nominated Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

“Afrofuturism is innovative and creative; it’s being artistic, visionary, and inspired,” Carter said. “It’s realizing the power of your voice. It’s knowing you can influence change in someone’s life by helping them see their potential.”

NAACP is further amplifying the power of their voice by including this historical moment of adding a Costume Design category into their 54th Award Season. Ruth Carter, an HBCU graduate herself, selected the winning “Icons of Afrofuture” designs – by the following young designers:

  • Cresseide Jacques
  • D’on Lauren Edwards
  • Keanu Williams aka King Nu
  • Irueosa Osadayi Ohanmu 


Carter will wear their designs at the upcoming:

  • NAACP Fashion Show held at Event Deck at L.A. Live on February 23; red carpet 12:30pm (PST); reception 1:00pm (PST); Fashion Show 2:00pm (PST)
  • NAACP Awards Dinner held at Event Deck at L.A. Live on February 24; red carpet 4:00pm (PST) Awards program 6:00pm (PST)
  • 54th NAACP Image Awards, televised live 5:00pm (PST) on BET on February 25, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium; and
  • 25th Costume Designers Guild Awards (CDGA), held on February 27 at Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles; red carpet 5:30pm (PST); ceremony 8:30pm (PST).


“Our vision is to identify, develop and support talented, aspiring Black designers to build a community and legacy,” PLC Founder and President Dr. D’Wayne Edwards said. “Working with a creative legend like Ruth Carter, we are able to provide opportunities that elevate these aspiring creatives to realize their dreams of becoming the future of fashion and costume design.”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is an NAACP Image Awards nominee across 12 motion picture categories. Ruth Carter is known for turning the Black Panther superhero into an African king, making history as the first Black person to win in the Costume Design category and earning Marvel Studios its first Oscar.

“With support from PLC Founding partners, Gilbert Family Foundation and Target, Hyatt, and MW Cares, we are able to launch the first Icons of Afrofuture. And we will be seeking additional partners to help us continue to impact lives and make dreams come true for future challenges with Ruth Carter,” Edwards said.

The Icons of Afrofuture design challenge was also produced in partnership with Archtoculture, an impact-focused creative agency and venture studio committed to helping underserved founders and brands gain equal access to capital and opportunities.


About Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design (PLC)

The Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design is the name chosen to be used by the Lewis College of Business, the first and only HBCU in the State of Michigan.

The Lewis College of Business was originally founded by Dr. Violet T. Lewis. Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, founder of the Pensole Design Academy in Oregon, is working to reinstate the Lewis College of Business in Detroit. Pensole Lewis College, in collaboration with the College for Creative Studies (CCS), will offer programs across design, sustainability, business, STEM, and more, serving young Black creatives across industries. The Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design Founding partners are Target and the Gilbert Family Foundation. For more information please visit