Studio One Eighty Nine, the fashion brand co-founded by actress Rosario Dawson and luxury executive Abrima Erwiah, who are recent winners of the prestigious CFDA Lexus Fashion Award for their work in sustainability, our proud to present their Spring Summer 2020 collection.
The collection, entitled Heritage, is inspired by traditional patterns, symbols and techniques interwoven into cloth that communicates our values, history and message to future generations.
An example of this is the “Freedom Quilts” of America used by enslaved Africans to follow the underground railroad path to Freedom. Another example, is the use of traditional West African Adinkra symbols stamped on cloth like Kente. Each symbol, pattern and color tell distinct stories that highlight cultural values such as the power of collaboration or the power of women. Our history is interconnected. As 2019 marks 400 years since the first slave ships were taken from West Africa for the Americas. It is important to trace the journey of where we come from and take a deeper look at our connected past. We can learn from the past and work together to build our shared story for the future in order to protect the planet and create an opportunity for generations to come. “We celebrate all of the characteristics that make us different and also all our similarities through mixing prints and patterns and by encouraging the uniqueness of all the people that wear the brand,” Erwiah says. “The brand should be a source of strength for customers and help them achieve their best selves, but in the end the clothes are meant as a backdrop to highlight the beauty of each individual. “
The Spring 2020 collection was designed with sustainability and building products meant to last in mind by the use of zero-waste materials, recycled materials, and patchworking. Patchworking was also used as a way of communicating stories by patching different symbols and textiles together reminiscent of quilting.
We focused on supporting the supply chain with the collection by using traditional techniques such as hand-batik, hand-weaving, patchworking, natural indigo dyeing, basket weaving, recycled cotton and upcycled denim from second hand clothing sent to Ghana that we buy in the local Ghanaian market. Our supply chain includes for example, using organic cotton that is grown in Burkina Faso that is then milled and turned into yarn then hand-dyed and woven on a loom and then sent on a bus to Accra where it is meticulously patchworked like a work of art by our team, then cut and sewn and turned into a beautiful garment.
For Spring we introduced new silhouettes such as a double-breasted suit for women, a ruffle tiered dress, a long flowing shirt dress, an off the shoulder caftan and a fringe wrap skirt. We evolved existing best-selling silhouettes such as the knee-length shirt, the ruffle skirt and the Andy button down shirt.
The primary colors in the collection are a mix of vibrant hues and pastels. Colors include red, indigo, white, green, with pops of yellow and black. The color palette is reflective of colors found in the American and Ghanaian flag as well as colors we see in nature. The indigo derives from the indigofera plant made using a traditional technique of natural indigo to woven cotton. We introduce pastel colors such as lilac and pink.
For accessories, our newest creation is an oversized hand-batik hat with a large brim perfect for the beach and inspired by market sellers. We also introduced various patchwork loafers made with remnant cuttings of organic cotton fabrics from our factory.
This season Studio One Eighty Nine worked with their artisans and production facility in Ghana as well as partnered with the UN Ethical Fashion Initiative Burkina Faso.
Studio One Eighty Nine initially launched in February of 2013. This collection is a representation of the brand’s growth and development, and a celebration of the brand’s anniversary. The brand initially launched in tandem with 1 Billion Rising, honoring Eve Ensler’s campaign to stop violence and sexual assault against women. The impetus behind Ensler’s campaign – the idea of turning one’s pain into power and to focus on beauty – is boldly incorporated into Studio One Eighty-Nine’s Spring Summer 2020 collection.
The collection will be available for purchase at studiooneeightynine.com, in Studio One Eighty Nine retail stores and in select retail stores starting in February 2020.
To learn more visit studiooneeightynine.com
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 operates a store in New York and Accra (Ghana), an ecommerce site, a manufacturing facility in Accra, and supports various community led projects in Africa and in the USA. Studio One Eighty-Nine works with artisanal communities that specialize in various traditional craftsmanship techniques including natural plant based dye indigo, hand-batik, kente weaving and more. Studio One Eighty-Nine 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 EDUN (LVMH) and Yoox Net-a-Porter. Studio One Eighty-Nine 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. www.studiooneeightynine.com.