You may not know Deborah Landis by name, but you most definitely know her work. From the "COLLEGE" sweatshirt Bluto wore in Animal House to Indiana Jones' entire look to Michael Jackson's THRILLER JACKET, Academy Award nominee Deborah Landis has conceptualized and crafted many of pop culture's most iconic costumes.
Yet, even though she supplied the King of Pop with his eternally famous red zipper jacket and inspired multiple generations of college dorm art, neither of those projects are her favorite. That distinction belongs to Coming To America.
Twenty-seven years ago last week, Coming To America was released in theaters around the country. The 1988 Eddie Murphy-led comedy has since worked its way from urban cult classic to mentions on all-time greatest comedies lists, based largely on the strength of the cast and Landis' ability as costume designer to bring the fictitious African nation of Zamunda to life.
To mark the anniversary of the film's release and to celebrate one of the unsung heroes of modern movies, we sat down with Professor Landis to discuss her experience working on the film, her favorite and most famous looks, and how a Jewish woman born in the Bronx was able to successfully (and respectfully) create African art.
All images captured from Coming To America in HD.