Jamaican designer works on Disney filmWednesday, December 01, 2021
WITH Christmas in the air Raxann Chin is already caught up in the Yuletide spirit. But this is not the Montego Bay-born costume designer's only reason for cheer as she is also celebrating being in charge of outfits for the Disney movie Keeping up With The Claus.
That film is scheduled for release this month. For Chin, the gig is a godsend.
“Working on a Christmas project is quite similar to character development for other productions, however, there is something magical about a Christmas production where you get to delve into fantasy, which activates the inner child in all of us,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
Chin has been on the Hollywood scene for over a decade. Keeping up With The Claus, which stars Margaret Ladd (Emma of Falcon Crest fame) is in complete contrast to her previous project, American Trial: The Eric Garner Story.
Released in 2019, that documentary reflected on the controversial death of Garner, a black man, who was choked to death in 2014 by a white police officer in New York.
The graphic footage of Garner laying on the ground and pleading for his life made working on the film even more compelling for Chin.
“The national impact of the incident and what it represented in our [black] history, gave me great pride in doing my part in telling his story. I felt as though I was a part of a historical imprint that will be viewed for generations to come,” she said.
Chin was born and raised in Montego Bay where she attended Mount Alvernia High School. After attending Wayne State University and Mercy Law School at the University of Detroit she entered the corporate world, working in marketing on Wall Street for companies including Solomon Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch.
The devastating financial crash of 2008 forced a career change to Chin's lifetime passion for design. Already involved in the craft, she pursued it full-time and has since worked as lead or co-costume designer on The Glen, an off-Broadway play; and the hit streaming comedy, Cady Did.
Chin is also founder and principal of Femhéka, a clothing line that has worked with companies including Coca-Cola and Miss Jamaica World 2015, Sanneta Myrie.
With a Disney movie to her name Raxann Chin believes she has taken another step in accessing the Hollywood big league.
“The barrier to entry is extremely high; pushing through the ceiling comes with a lot of dedication. The Hollywood scene is like swimming in an ocean where there is no land in sight,” she said. “My rule is to keep swimming, float when I'm tired, but never go under.”