Sunday, March 3, 2024

From Red Carpet to Cultural Guardian: Samata Pattinson Launches Black Pearl

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Following 11 years at the helm of Suzy Amis Cameron’s Red Carpet Green Dress organization, Samata Pattinson has launched Black Pearl, an organization dedicated to “cultural sustainability.”

With the launch of Black Pearl, Samata Pattinson is leaving her post at Suzy Amis Cameron’s Red Carpet Green Dress (RCGD) to offer a range of services, insights, and content to the fashion and entertainment industries. The organization plans to offer educational resources, reports, and projects, focusing on a broad spectrum of sustainability initiatives.

For 11 years as CEO at Red Carpet Green Dress, Pattinson, a British-born Ghanaian now based in Los Angeles, was instrumental in integrating sustainable fashion into the prestigious Academy Awards ceremony and adjacent events. She worked alongside celebrities including Billie Eilish, LaKeith Stanfield, Marlee Matlin, and Naomi Harris, showcasing sustainable designs from labels including Louis Vuitton, Elie Saab, Christian Siriano, and the late designer Vivienne Westwood. A RCGD successor has not been named.

In an interview with WWD, Pattinson shared her vision for Black Pearl. “The work I’ve been doing around sustainability has really focused predominantly on the luxury red carpet space. And I’m really proud of all of the projects and all of the initiatives I’ve been involved with and also the community that I’ve built. But the last year or two, there were things I wanted to be developing that looked at sustainability more through a creators’ lens, a Black perspective or a Black woman’s perspective.”

Pattinson says the aim is to produce culturally sensitive content that acknowledges the global influence of the fashion, music, and film industries. “We recognize that the fashion industry and music and film have all these global touch points and what we’re creating needs to be culturally sensitive to as many of them as possible,” Pattinson said.

James Cameron and Suzy Amis Cameron on the red carpet for the Titanic 3D launch
James Cameron and Suzy Amis Cameron on the red carpet for the Titanic 3D launch | Courtesy RCGD Global

“How are we making sure that we’re respecting their intellectual property rights? How are we making sure that these groups are not marginalized? How are we making sure that when we launch this campaign, we are not completely torn apart because of the messaging that we’ve used or the use of the symbol that had this inherent meaning and we didn’t remunerate anyone for it? We want to give the tools to these industries to safeguard themselves properly and make sure that they aren’t trespassing culturally,” Pattinson said. “There’s plenty of frameworks for carbon assessments to impact on global waters, but not one that touches on culture.”

Pattinson has already set several projects in motion, including animated short films, a documentary, and a TV series, each exploring different facets of sustainability. She is also developing an educational curriculum that presents sustainable fashion from the perspective of the Global South. Pattinson says she will collaborate with artists on sustainability projects, akin to her involvement in Billie Eilish’s Overheated Live event and initiatives like Coldplay’s sustainability report. Black Pearl will also offer services to artists interested in designing and manufacturing sustainable merchandise.

One of Black Pearl’s key objectives is to develop a framework for cultural sustainability. This framework will enable creative industries to evaluate whether their projects meet the needs of diverse and representative communities. Pattinson emphasized the importance of respecting intellectual property rights, ensuring inclusivity, and avoiding cultural trespass.

She says the goal is to represent as many people as possible “It makes sense when I look at things like the new Fashion Act, which is coming out of New York, the conversations we’re having about material
innovation in L.A., or the platforms that are spotlighting sustainability here like the Environmental Media Association. And every other weekend there’s a screening or a talk about the kind of plastic in the ocean in Malibu.…But I know it’s a bubble, which is why I’m trying to make sure that within these spaces, what we’re putting out to the world is representing more people.”

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