Business, Designers

PHOTOS: Vogue Talents x ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative with ROSARIO DAWSON’s Studio One Eighty

Rosario Dawson - Credit Emmanuel Andre

As part of the Ethical Fashion Initiative’s programme to support and promote new generation fashion design talent from Africa, Ghanaian brand, Studio One Eighty Nine participated in Vogue Italia’s Vogue Talents project.

Vogue Talents is part of Vogue Italia’s talent scouting agenda. The event takes place during Milan Fashion Week, and transforms Palazzo Morando into a presentation space for the best young emerging fashion designers of the moment. This gives the designers a unique opportunity to gain exposure to fashion press and buyers and present their unique aesthetic to the fashion crowd.

Simone Cipriani, the Head and Founder of the Ethical Fashion Initiative commented: “Vogue Talents is the best vehicle to get young designers on the international fashion scene. For the Ethical Fashion Initiative’s work in Africa with emerging designers, Vogue Italia is a formidable partner.”

The actress, Rosario Dawson and luxury fashion communications & marketingexpert, Abrima Erwiah created the social enterprise Studio One Eighty Ninein 2011. As long-time best friendsthat met growing up in Manhattan, Rosario and Abrima teamed together to advocate for positive social changethrough the agent of fashion. They are dedicated toachieving social impact relating to education, economic/employment opportunities and women empowerment. Rosario Dawsonmade her debut as an actress in Kidsand since starred in many hit films includingMen in Black IIand Sin City.

Rosario Dawson stands out as an innovativepower-housesucceeding in her work as an actress, in her dedication to social activism and now in her role part of a fashion collective. Abrima Erwiah, previously worked nearly a decadefor Kering atBottega Venetaas global marketing and communication executive andhas always been passionate about social and economic development with a specific interest in Africa. This lead her to work for the Kering Foundation for Women’s Dignity & Rightsand now for the United Nations International Trade Center EthicalFashion Initiative while also being co-founder and co-creative director of Studio One Eight Nine.

Abrima Erwiah Credit Emmanuel Andre

STUDIO ONE EIGHTY NINE is a social enterprise that seeks to provide a platform to help promote and curate African and African-inspired content through various projects such as media and cultural events and projects. The collective includes artists, musicians, dancers, architects, designers, photographers, foodies, travelers, innovators, thinkers, activists, dreamers. Together we represent countries all over Africa and its Diaspora. Created by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, the mission of Studio One Eighty Nine and the idea for Fashion Rising, took shape following a trip with V-Day in February, 2011, through Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda to Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the opening of the City of Joy.Studio One Eighty Nine was selected as a rising African brand by Design Indaba as part of the “Africa is Now” Exhibit and has recently appeared as a stand-out brand inWWD, in, Vogue Italia, the FT “How to Spend It”,, coolhunting and more.

The Studio 189 Spring Summer 2015 collection is a celebration of brilliant color, artisanal craftsmanship, and the effortlessness of warm, sunny days.It is an evolution from previous seasons. We pushed the use of handmade elements and played with fabrics, colors, shapes and silhouettes. The collection comprises 23 women’s looks and 9 men’s looks, all inspired by nature and the interaction of human relationships within it. The colour palette is inspired by the beach and jungle as well as the flamingos taking flight in Kenya. Colours include bright hues of yellow, light sea blue, deep ocean blue, sky blue, mud color browns, banana leaf greens, and various gradient shades of flamingo pink with a hint of black.

There is an assortment of styles that take you from daytime, to the beach to the evening straight to the airplane. Silhouettes continue to be clean, easy, and versatile: kimono tops, button-front shirts, high-waisted shorts, and A-line skirts are designed to be mixed and matched; classic sundresses, caftans and a flowing slip dress are sensuous and simple.The Malian Indigo and Bogolan fabric bring geometric prints to the collection with stripes, dots and crosses. The blue indigo ishand-dyed in Mali from the plant extract using various patterned designs and the Bogolan mud-cloth ishand-dyed in Mali in brown, black, white using patterned designs such as hand-painted village scenes of everyday life in Africa. We continue to use locally sourced cotton colico as well as various Italian silks and cottons, all batiked by hand in Ghana.

A carefully thought-out group of accessories finishes the collection. There are cotton and cotton-and-canvas tote bags in a range of sizes, a yoga-mat bag, and most ingenious—a cotton garment bag, designed to make dry-cleaner plastic obsolete.The looks are completed with cotton and canvas totes and hand-woven basket bags from northern Ghana. A final touch can be added by stackingglass beadnecklaces and bracelets madefrom recycled glass and adding hand-painted and silk screened scarves.

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Photocredit: ITC

Ladybrille Magazine

Founded in 2007, Ladybrille® Magazine is a California based pioneer digital publication demystifying the image of Africans in the west through contemporary African fashion and celebrating the brilliant woman in business and leadership, with an emphasis on the African woman in the diaspora. Our coverage includes stories on capital, access to markets, expertise, hiring and retention, sales, marketing, and promotions.

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