Costume Design for Film and Television
Susan Nininger




Susan Nininger was raised in the Northeast - Connecticut, Boston, and New York. She began her studies as a Fine Art Student at Rhode Island School of Design.  By the time she received her Masters Degree, in Seattle in 1976,  her work was incorporating a variety of materials -sculpted ceramic pieces, found objects and fabrics- and she, and others, were wearing her 'Costume Sculpture'.

The body of work that Susan produced during the late 70's in Seattle displayed an unique and imaginative use of mixed materials, as well as a strong sense of storytelling. Some of the pieces she produced during this time were not wearable, however, they were always about  Costume - evoking her deep rooted interest in not only the physicality of garments chosen as costume, but also in the Storytelling Ideas that go into the development of character through Costume Design. She received Scholarship Awards and Grants during this time from the National Endowment for the Arts and other prestigious organizations.  Her work was exhibited in both galleries and museums, nationally.   

The transition from working as a Studio Artist to designing Costumes for Stage and Moving Pictures began in the late 70’s.  Collaborations with Performance Artists and Choreographers in Seattle, lead to being invited to design costumes for several Stage Productions.  Finding that designing costumes fit perfectly with her passion for storytelling, she made the choice to pursue a career as a Costume Designer, and moved to Los Angeles in 1981. 

Susan’s range of work as a Costume Designer, to date, includes Costume Design for Feature Film, Television Commercials, Theatre/Stage Production in Los Angeles and New York, and Music Videos during the 80’s and early 90’s.  Susan is perhaps most well known for her Costume Design for The Bodyguard in 1992.  Susan has designed for, and collaborated with, award winning Commercial Directors, and continues to maintain a high profile and active career as an imaginative and prolific Costume Designer for both Television Commercials and Feature Films.  

With a continued interest in Education within the field of Costume Design, Susan is a member of the faculty at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, in downtown Los Angeles, teaching in the Film & TV Costume Design Program since it started in 2000. She has also served as a Board Member for the Costume Designers Guild since 2005.

Susan has been based primarily in Los Angeles for the past few years, where whe lives with her son.