In July, Norcostco Atlanta Costume collaborated with Metropolitan Studios to host industry artists with the common goal of highlighting the diversity of the Atlanta community.
Costumers, makeup artists, performers, and photographers of all backgrounds volunteered their time and skills to produce a stunning array of photographs depicting the beauty of representation. What began as a marketing photoshoot quickly transformed into a passionate social commentary highly relevant in the current social climate.
“We realized that our previous marketing was neither inclusive nor representative of our customer base. Over the last few years, we’ve worked hard as a company to expand our size ranges in costumes as well as our color and product selection in makeup. It is important to everyone, both professionally and personally, that our theatre/film/artistic community feel welcome and inspired when working with us. Norcostco holds a strong company policy of inclusion – regardless of race, sexuality, gender, or size. This project was our opportunity to lead by example through community outreach and support, going above and beyond the obvious marketing goals,” stated Marie Quintero of Norcostco.
The project took several weeks to organize with a total team of 26 people working both in front of and behind the camera. Costume Rental Manager Marie Quintero headed up the project with full support of Branch Manager and makeup artist Meghan Bernstein. Looking for a diverse group of talent to act as models, Marie reached out to friend and colleague Roula Roulette, owner of Metropolitan Studios.
Excitement for the mission prompted several key makeup artists from the film community to jump on board including Face Off star Jasmine Ringo. Credits for the final photographs go to local photographer Rachel Schulman Barnhard and Virginia based photographer Maleva.
Costumes and makeup looks were hand selected and customized for each of the thirteen models who participated in the shoot. The models in the project are inclusive of varying ages, sizes, and color, and represent a broad range of identities across the LGBTQIA spectrum. “The cool thing about projects like this is that that’s what theatre is all about” added Meghan Bernstein. “Inclusiveness. Feeling like you belong. You come together and create something amazing.”
With the success of this inceptive collaboration, plans are already being made to revisit the project with the goal of expanding the diversity statement even further.
Norcostco is the oldest operating theatrical supply company in the nation with a founding date of 1884. Local office Norcostco Atlanta Costume has been a staple of the Atlanta community in the current Monroe Drive location for over 50 years. The company often sponsors local community events such as the Atlanta Fringe Festival, Jerusalem House, and Atlanta Pride as well as contributing time and money to the Georgia Thespian Conference, the Southeastern Theatre Conference, and may others.
As the leading supplier of performance makeup brands such as Ben Nye, Kryolan, and Mehron and historical costume rentals for theatre, film, and photography, Norcostco Atlanta Costume looks forward to serving the art community for many years to come.