Designers Abrima Erwiah and Rosario Dawson celebrated ten years of Studio 189 with their Spring/Summer 2024 runway show. Afrobeats spilled into the New York Lower East Side venue as models walked onto the runway with smiles on their faces and in movement to the music. The show opened with a reading by playwright and author V, formerly known as Eve Ensler, on the brand’s new collection and in honor of the garment workers who create the pieces that were worn by the models. All of Studio 189’s pieces are made by hand in Accra, Ghana. Backstage designer Erwiah said that when entering their manufacturing facility there is constant dancing. The collection was in celebration of that and a catalyst for social change through fashion. V had told the designers that three women in her lifetime would be sexually assaulted and that “changed everything” for the designer duo.
This runway was filled with dance as a stance to choose joy in the face of adversity. The collection was filled with patterns and colors that reflect the creations of the garment workers that work for the designers’ brand. The show even featured images of their garment workers right at the front of the runway to show that they are the reason the audience was all there. Flowing silhouettes, traditional and modern, glided on the runway. Models from different generations walked down the runway, all with the same joyous energy. Kente cloth pieces from dresses, matching sets, suits, and more in vibrant prints and innovative cuts were all throughout the show.
Designer Erwiah told ESSENCE.com, “I think [the collection] was about the evolution. How did we get here, and where are we going? That’s why it was so important to end [the show] with kids. Ten years ago, we were united in sustainability, circularity, equity, and you didn’t hear these words.”
The other half of the designer duo, Dawson said, “This season is about regeneration, rebirth, and regrowth coming from that space and stepping into the future. And so [the show] was really powerful. I got really emotional just seeing some of these kids were in the womb when we first started.”