Day: January 5, 2022

Aretha Franklin had her own ideas about fashion. ‘Respect’ lets them shine

When veteran Broadway costume designer Clint Ramos was tapped to work on the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect,” he soon found himself studying the late singer’s roles as both a cultural and sartorial icon.

“She was a fashion icon but not in the traditional sense,” Ramos says in a call from his Manhattan home. “The woman never followed any trends. As she moved through the narrative of her life, it seems evident her clothing simply followed her life. She wasn’t a fashion plate or a mannequin or anything like that — she was telegraphing the way she felt through clothing the same way she did with her music. She wasn’t a loyalist to any house or designer; she had clothes from Detroit, clothes literally off-the-rack and custom-made things.

“Maybe more than anything, Aretha’s iconic gift to fashion is her attitude: ‘And I don’t give a damn.’ [Laughs.] She wore what she

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