Studio One Eighty Nine co-founded by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, is an artisan produced fashion lifestyle brand and social enterprise that has recently won the prestigious CFDA Lexus Fashion Initiative for Sustainability. The brand is made in Africa and produces African and African-inspired content and clothing. The brand currently operates a store in NY and Accra (Ghana), an ecommerce site, a manufacturing facility in Accra, and supports various community led projects in Africa and in the USA. Studio 189 works with artisanal communities that specialize in various traditional craftsmanship techniques including natural plant based dye indigo, hand-batidk, kente weaving and more. Studio 189 focuses on empowerment, creating jobs and supporting education and skills training and partners with organizations such as the United Nations ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative, NYU Stern School of Business and has collaborated with brands including Lexus. EDUN (LVMH), Fendi, Nike, Opening Ceremony, The Surf Lodge, Okay Africa and Yoox Net a Porter. Studio 189 is the recipient of various awards including the Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice award from UPenn in 2015, the MOCADA Social Justice award in 2016, the Design Miami Visionary award in 2017, the Filming On Italy Social Justice award in 2018, the Africa-America Institute Entrepreneur Impact Award in 2018.
The first collection launched on February 14th 2013 in honor of One Billion Rising. The mission took shape following a trip with Eve Ensler's V-Day and Dr. Mukwege's Panzi Hospital in February 2011, through Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda to Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the opening of the City of Joy.