Dawson and Abrima Erwiah won for their brand Studio One Eighty Nine, which focuses on promoting African and African-inspired fashion.
In 2013, Rosario Dawson founded Studio One Eighty Nine with her business partner Abrima Erwiah. Headquartered in both Ghana and New York City, Studio One Eighty Nine is an artisan produced fashion lifestyle brand and social enterprise that focuses on producing and promoting African and African-inspired fashion. The brand’s mission is “to use fashion as an agent for social change.”
In a recent Instagram post the brand's founders shared some pretty big news: “We won a CFDA x Lexus fashion award for our work dedicated to sustainability. We did this. Did not expect it. We have worked so hard for so long in the trenches in the community... people have given up so much for us and sacrificed so much. We have sacrificed so much.”
They continued, “[Two] women of color creating an authentic brand with its foundation in Africa and America helping to promote an ecosystem and economy for the empowerment of people. We are building community. Our community has rallied behind us and been so supportive. EVERYONE. It’s all love and it’s pure heart. It’s magic. We are magic.”
After competing in the 2018 CFDA + Lexus Fashion Initiative, a nine-month sustainability-focused program, amongst four other fashion brands, Cienne, M. Patmos, St. Roche and Whit, Dawson and Erwiah’s Studio One Eighty Nine was named the winner and took home the grand prize of $80,000. The initiative was created to help brands that are committed to sustainability in the fashion industry. Spanning a nine-month program, the brands were immersed in courses that taught them how to enhance their sustainability efforts. Studio One Eighty Nine is committed to environmentally friendly fabrics, just labor practices and more.
Learn more about Studio One Eighty Nine below: