Studio One Eighty Nine co-founded by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, is an artisan produced fashion lifestyle brand and social enterprise that has recently won the prestigious CFDA Lexus Fashion Initiative for Sustainability. The brand is made in Africa and produces African and African-inspired content and clothing. The brand currently has a store in NY and Accra (Ghana), an e-commerce site, a manufacturing facility in Accra, and supports various community led projects in Africa and in the US.
Studio 189 works with artisanal communities that specialize in various traditional craftsman techniques including natural plant based dye indigo, hand-batik, kente weaving and more. Studio 189 focuses on empowerment, creating jobs and supporting education and skills training and partners with organizations such as the United Nations ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative, NYU Stern School of Business and has collaborated with brands including Lexus, EDUN (LVMH), Fendi, Nike, The Surf Lodge, and Yoox Net a Porter. Studio 189 is the recipient of various awards including the Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice award from UPenn in 2015, the MOCADA Social Justice award in 2016, the Design Miami Visionary award in 2017, the Filming On Italy Social Justice award in 2018, the Africa-America Institute Entrepreneur Impact Award in 2018. The first collection launched on February 14th 2013 in honor of One Billion Rising.
"We believe in the power of collaboration, it is at the root of what we do."
— Abrima Erwiah, co-founder
The mission took shape following a trip with Eeve Ensler's V-Day and Dr. Mukwege's Panzi Hospital in February 2011, through Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda to Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the opening of the City of Joy. "Everything you do, from what you buy to how you dress, has impact. We believe in the power of collaborating with artisanal communities and rising through fashion. Look good, feel good, and do good - that's as good as it gets."