Blending fashion and tech while being a Black Cosplay role model

Interview date:

February 17, 2021

Ginger Burton

Costume/Fashion Designer
University / Self-taught

Ginger Burton adored Sailor Moon, the anime character, as a child and loved playing with Barbies. Her love of fashion and design led her to pursue fashion, design and digital pattern-making in university and become a Black icon in the cosplay world. She is now Wardrobe Supervisor at iLuminate, the entertainment company which fuses tech, light and dance. She's breaking new ground there by designing customized dance suits which integrate the company's proprietary software and hardware.

"It's a lot of problem-solving even though it's design. It's also about figuring out how to make the tech and the costume fit really great together. I work really closely with the techs on that, with both of us really coming up with a plan. That's what a lot of it is."

"A lot of people don't realize that the Black community in the cosplay community is huge. There are so many geeks, so many blerds as we call them, 'black nerds. There are so many blerds out there who love anime, video games, comics, all that kind of nerdy stuff. It's almost like people are always surprised. 'Oh you like that too?' Yes, there's so many of us. But I think it's because we don't get the representation that we really deserve on blogs and Web sites and people who share cosplayers. A lot of times in the Black community, there have been several of us who come together to uplift other Black cosplayers. Because in cosplay, that's how I found my friends and started our group, Chocolate Covered Cosplay."


  • Provide art education in different formats: painting, fashion, graffiti, cake decoration.
  • School art classes should teach kids how to create art manually and with tech tools.
  • Don't pressure kids to conform. Encourage them to be their authentic selves.