The fashion industry receives warranted criticism for a number of reasons: gatekeeping philosophies, lack of diversity, dangerous environmental practices, and a refusal to acknowledge pressing issues, to name a few. Studio 189, one of just a handful of visible, mission-based luxury brands using fashion as a vehicle to foster change and productive conversation since its inception, remains a pillar of hope in an otherwise slow-changing industry, and they send a gentle and welcome reminder with every runway presentation.
This season marks only the brand’s third live New York Fashion Week showcase yet, but co-founders Adrima Erwiah and Rosario Dawson have already become experts at curating a joy-sparking atmosphere show-goers come ready to relish in. This time, the event commenced first with a dedication honoring Erwiah’s father, who recently passed away, and a heartfelt voiceover dedication was accompanied by an upbeat dance presentation. It’s an element that often comes with Studio 189 shows that hone in on the essence of connectedness and community.
Though Studio 189 seems to have found a home in New York Fashion Week (Erwiah is of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire descent on her mother’s paternal side, while Dawson’s lineage is Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican, but bother were ultimately born in the city), the brand, whose garments are created sustainably by artisans in Ghana, shows no signs of a desire to create pieces that follow Western rules. Through and through, across over 60 womenswear, menswear, and children’s looks, each handwoven thread Studio 189 showcases is an ode to home — (yet, with a notably diverse cast, it feels more like whatever is home to you).
This season, reimagined form is yet again given to techniques such as hand batik and basket weaving, stand-out looks including striped kaftans; a tiered, multi-colored maxi skirt; an artful patchwork skirt set, and in a nutshell, pattern after alluring pattern. As always, volume is also the name of the game for the brand’s Spring 2023 offering. After a patchwork halter bralette, maxi skirt combination for the finale look, the show closed out with another mood-boosting performance.
Check out the collection ahead.