“That’s So Raven” costume designer on the tailoring significance of the series 20 years later

And now, 20 years after the show premiered, fans still want to recreate some of the iconic looks from the show. If you’ve ever tried to create an original Raven Baxter, then you’ll be intrigued that most of the looks from the series were just that, an original.

“Everything we make or buy, I design it or we rent it,” says Martin. “But I would usually change the pieces I buy. I’m going to change the collar, actually I’m going to combine three items to make one. For example, if I liked the sleeves of this, I like the body of this, or I want to put a piece of another item in there, I’ll do that. It’s a fun thing to do. And that’s what we do most of the time. We are literally changing everything. So even if it’s pants, I could put, you know, a stripe. We just like to add it because Raven Baxter, being who she is, likes to add a little flair to everything.”

This alone plays a role in why Raven’s clothing was so complex to create. The series’ fashion keeps a firm grasp on what it means to express yourself. Raven Baxter’s amazing personality meshed perfectly with her outfits.

“Now it’s so fun to go on Instagram and see people find an original piece from the series and say, ‘oh my god, she painted this’ or ‘she changed that,'” continues Martin. “It’s really great when they really get it. And for me, you know if you watch a show on Disney, you know that color and what you see is a vital part of the script. That’s part of the appeal of watching the series. It holds your attention, whether you are an adult or a child. That’s what I always had in mind when designing That’s so Raven.”

26-year-old content creator, Amber Richardson recalls her love for That’s so Raven because of its fashion and family unit. She notes that she obviously didn’t realize as a child how important the show’s portrayal was, but looking back, seeing a black family alongside a black supernatural cast was so incredibly important. Moreover, the series gave her a great example of what it means to be a young black woman who is unashamedly afraid to be who you are.

“I definitely looked up to Raven when it came to fashion because a lot of people at the time were afraid to push the boundaries. At least I feel like a teenage girl,” says Amber. “[Raven Baxter’s] style is the way many people dress today. I see a lot of Raven Baxter outfits while scrolling on TikTok, especially with the Y2K revival. I feel like it was natural to see that happen, but it’s also crazy that people know her enough to recreate her look despite the fact that this show hasn’t been on the air in years. In 2023, we’re still talking about her style, like this show had such a cultural impact.”

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