Emmy-nominated animated program “Entergalactic” is set amid a vibrant New York City. Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi voices Jabari, a graffiti artist who has just moved into a new Manhattan apartment after being hired by a comic book company.
He’s just broken up with his ex, Carmen (voiced by Laura Harrier), because he’s too busy to have a personal relationship until he meets his neighbor, Meadow (voiced by Jessica Williams).
In building Jabari’s world, production designer Robh Ruppel created a “blank canvas” for his loft since the character has just moved in. The walls are white, boxes still fill the room, and Jabari’s bike sits against a wall. However, as the story progresses, those boxes become fewer and the space stars to become more personal. Ruppel’s key was how he used color. “You can’t have it everywhere,” he says. “To show a sad evening alone, there were more blues with very few inside lights turned on.” Finding that balance was tricky since he didn’t want too much lighting as it would appear “upbeat.”
When Jabari encounters love at first sight with Meadow, there’s a shift that Ruppel implemented. He explains, “As the romance develops, we kept on the warm side of the color wheel with the red magenta for the deepening romance. And we used blues and greens for questioning moments.”
For much of “Entergalactic,” he wears a single hoodie with CLOSURE splattered across the chest.
Producer Mike Penketh explains for Jabari’s costumes, former Louis Vuitton artistic director Virgil Abloh was brought in to give the character a fresh look through costume design. Says Penketh, “Virgil pulled a lot of real world references and his own fashion designs. He put together these looks for these characters to express their individualism.” He also designed the hoodie.
The red Closure hoodie even has an arc. Jabari wears it for most of the film until he accidentally leaves it at Carmen’s apartment — he’s there trying to get rid of a rat, and takes it off. She starts sending him flirty messages unaware he’s seeing someone. Jabari eventually goes to Carmen to break up with her, the Closure hoodie is on the table, serving as a metaphor for what he’s about to do — get closure on this relationship. It’s the end of the hoodie and Jabari wearing it, explains director Fletcher Moules.
Mescudi also influenced Jabari’s hypeculture look. In one scene, Jabari is awoken by loud music coming from his neighbor’s apartment at 3 a.m.
Moules explains how conflict was used in Abloh’s costume design to show a contrast between Jabari and Meadow. “When he walks into Meadow’s party, he’s wearing Cleveland basketball shorts because Scott is from there. He’s trying to get sleep. We wanted to show the contrast of the arts crowd (Meadow’s friends). They’re all in black tie and high-end dresses as if they had come from an art opening. So, when he comes in, he’s a fish out of water. He’s stopped and asked, ‘Yo, man, what are you doing here?’ That’s the instant conflict to draw attention for him and Meadow and just make him the local guy.”
Ultimately, Jabari’s outfits are bookended. Says Ruppel, “He’s dressed in red at the beginning and end. We start him in his Closure hoodie and end on an outfit subtable for Meadow’s show.”
By the time Jabari shows up to Meadow’s party at the end, Penketh explains he is wearing a red sweater paired with a cool paint-spattered tee underneath. “We wanted him to look like he was authentically Jabari. He’s not overdressed.”
Adds Ruppel, the look was saved until last, “That was the fancier version from the first time we meet him.”