Reprinted from Variety by Jazz Tangcay on February 6, 2020.
Costume designers have been fighting for pay equity for years, gearing up for their 2021 contract negotiations by establishing a committee highlighting the difference in pay between the mostly female Costumer Designers Guild and the primarily male membership of the Art Directors Guild Local 800. According to Amy Roth, who designed costumes on Motherless Brooklyn and Madame Secretary, those gender issues are at the heart of the matter.
“As a costume designer, I can definitely say that we are arguing up from these decades-long, outdated scale rates, based on it being considered women’s work,” Roth tells Variety.
Costume design has been viewed as a traditionally female universe as opposed to production design, a field largely occupied by men and one that typically sees higher pay than costume design.