NYWIFT Designing Women Honoree Ann Roth Wins Oscar at 89

Costume designer Ann Roth works with Taylour Paige on the set of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”(David Lee / Netflix)

Ann Roth
, who earlier this year had tied Agnés Varda and James Ivory as the oldest nominees in Oscar history at age 89, tied Ivory as oldest Oscar winner when she collected the costume design prize for her work on the Netflix drama Ma Rainey’s Black BottomSource: LA Times.

Ann is an active costume designer for Film and Broadway Theater. In addition to her latest award, Ann previously won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design for The English Patient, as well as a two-time Emmy Award nominee for Roanoke, and Angels in America. She is also a four-time Tony Award nominee for Best Costume.

Designer Ann Roth chats with a guest in front of her costume display at Designing Women 2015

Honoree costume designer Ann Roth poses with her design from Mamma Mia!


Ann was honored at the NYWIFT Designing Women Awards in 2015. Designing Women, celebrating the creative alchemy of design, character and story and honors renowned costume designers, makeup artists and hairstylists in film, television and digital media – the unsung heroines of production. Ann explained in her Designing Women highlight reel that a costume designer is not a stylist. Some of the most interesting characters have no style at all. Design is about creating what that real, full, interesting character would wear. “You have to know how much money [the character] has. Where did these clothes come from? How old are they? Who made them? When she takes them off at night, is she sober? Does she throw them on the floor?” she said.

Watch Ann at Designing Women 2015.

Ann started her career painting scenery for the Pittsburgh Opera as a Carnegie Mellon undergrad before segueing into costume design. She is a legend in the entertainment industry — name a classic, and Ann Roth designed the costumes. Midnight Cowboy. The Talented Mr. Ripley. Hair. Working Girl. Cold Mountain. The Birdcage. The English Patient. Angels in America

Ann was interviewed by the NYWIFT Archive Project in 2011. Watch the interview.