Rosario Dawson and Abrimah Erwiah Bring the ‘Joy’ of African Fashion to NYFW Runway: ‘Made with Love’

Rosario Dawson and Abrimah Erwiah give you a front row seat to see the designs at Studio 189.

The sustainable fashion brand features African artisans and is co-founded and run by Dawson and Erwiah. During New York Fashion Week, the trailblazers held a celebratory runway show to show off what Studio 189 has in store for the Spring/Summer 2024 collection. But the show was much more than just sending clothes down the runway – it featured music, dance, poetry and the joys of African culture, as the co-founders shared with reporters after the show.

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In a conversation with a group of media, including PEOPLE, about the show, The Ahsoka the actress said it was “really powerful” to start with the poet V (formerly known as Eve Ensler).

Rosario Dawson and Abrimah Erwiah

Model at the Studio 189 NYFW 2023 show.

Studio189/Dan Lecca

“She says, “No, I want a billion and I want us to dance. I want us to show what we miss when we are always in pain. When we ignore the pain and pay no attention to the pain. But we can turn that pain into power. And look at the joy we’ve got inside of us,” Dawson said of Vu, who wanted everyone in the room to “get up” and dance during the Studio 189 show.

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The Haunted palace the talent added that they watched footage from Congo when considering what they wanted to show on stage.

“And something that is very important is that we want to bring Africa here,” added Erwiah.

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Dawson added that every piece from Studio 189 is always “made with love.”

Rosario Dawson and Abrimah Erwiah

Models in Studio 189 NYFW show 2023.

Studio189/Dan Lecca

The co-founder told PEOPLE that their company always finds a way to celebrate culture.

“When you enter our factory, there is a lot of dancing. No matter what people are going through,” Erwiah continued. It sounded the same at the show as the models danced down the runway at the Gallery at Spring Studios in New York.

“We want the spirit of joy, dancing, love to come out,” Erwiah said as he explained all the “big energy and big movements and all that in the hands.”

Rosario Dawson and Abrimah Erwiah

Model at the Studio 189 NYFW show.

Studio189/Dan Lecca

Dawson agreed with her Studio 189 business partner, adding, “It’s amazing what we can do with our hands. And so we just wanted to celebrate that, with that creativity, what that power is. Power we literally have in our hands.”

The NYFW event saw famous faces in the crowd.

Rosario Dawson and Abrimah Erwiah

Jonathan Scott and Zooey Deschanel at the Studio 189 show during NYFW 2023.

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Jonathan Scott and Zooey Deschanel were seen at the show wearing the same purple Studio 189 models. The newly engaged couple smiled and held hands during the show. The Property Brothers star and (500 days of summer the actress then congratulated Dawson as they posed for photos.

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Vivica A. Fox was also present to support Dawson and Erwiah.

Rosario Dawson and Abrimah Erwiah

Maxwell Osborne and Vivica A. Fox at the Studio 189 NYFW show.

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The show’s theme was Evolution, and this collection is a testament to decades of purpose, strength and persistence, the show notes say. Studio 189 began as an intimate capsule launch in 2013 and has since evolved into a full clothing and accessories brand.

Their bold patterns convey meaning.

“The most recurring motif, ‘The Crossroads Print’, is a repeating diamond that marks ‘safe’ spaces in the fight against domestic violence. Our popular ‘Zebra Print’ from previous collections is back — with renewed hues including electric pink, orange, mint green and more,” the notes continued.

Rosario Dawson and Abrimah Erwiah

Models in Studio 189 NYFW show 2023.

Studio189/Dan Lecca

“We said fashion can be social change,” Erwiah said. “I can see the impact of what we’ve done.”

Studio 189, which is made in Africa, recently won the prestigious CFDA Lexus Fashion Initiative for Sustainability. The brand has also collaborated with organizations such as ITC ITC United Nations Ethical Fashion Initiative, NYU Stern School of Business and has collaborated with brands including EDUN (LVMH) and Yoox Net-a-Porter to create jobs while supporting education and training skill.

They have stores in New York and Accra, Ghana, as well as online.

Categories: Trends
Source: HIS Education

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