To Costume Designers & Collaborators

The APDG would like to bring the Naked Without Us campaign to your attention. The APDG seeks your support for equity for costume designers in the screen sector. Equity in both terms of financial and industry positioning. We ask you to standby our costume designers and help raise their profile and pay.

Naked Without Us is a campaign championed by the American Costume Designers Guild and local 892 Union. The campaign aims to raise awareness of what costume designers do, how they contribute to storytelling and the inequality in remuneration for costume designers when compared to their collaborators, specifically production designers and makeup designers.

Did you know costume designers generally are not paid over time, don’t own their IP so have no rights to merchandise royalties, get paid 30-50% less than production designers? The gaps in equality have deep historical roots in a gender bias. Costume design is a gendered profession and these disparities were generated in the Fordist mode of production. Costume designers work in obscurity, their role is to be inconspicuous, unobtrusive and true to the audience’s experience.  In the day to day running of production they are often unseen, busy in fitting rooms, on location early before the day gets going. They are not on pre production recces. They are often unseen on a daily basis. Busy doing their jobs. This invisibility on screen and off screen has contributed to the minimisation of their voices and conditions. Now is the time to hear those voices.

Costume designers are critical in shaping narrative, and the minutiae in character detail and back story. Their art is complex and spans embodied design processes and an emotional work load in working with actors to build character.  More equality for costume designers enhances the whole industry. Better working conditions for one, leads to better conditions for all.

We will be promoting this campaign on our socials – please share in solidarity. It’s time costume designers were recognised for what they give to our screens.

If you are interested in being a part of the APDG working group that has started this initiative, please email

Credit: Costume Designers Guild