Here I’m talking with Abrima Erwiah and Rosario Dawson of Studio 189, childhood friends and successful women in two different but complementing sectors, that is design and cinema, sharing a humanitarian project for the sake of fashion.
I have interviewed them for Junglam.com on indigo, the most popular color of next spring/summer season and we have found out that it is not only a trend, but authentic craftsmanship having its roots in the ancient Greece and hear ye, it will get to our wardrobes as denim!
PS: Dear Abrima and Rosario, if I am not mistaken, indigo is the color characterizing the most well-known denim fabric, isn’t it?
AE: Yes, the difference being that natural indigo is extracted from a plant called Indigofera, which contains a very persistent blue coloring molecule that can create hand-dyed craftsman effect and synthetic indigo is laboratory-made to dye garments mechanically, which makes the color less vivid in the long run.
RD: We have decided to use this natural resource for our 2015 spring-summer collection called Fashion Rising, extracting the material and dyeing fabrics in Mali. Subsequently, we have manufactured garments in Ghana (they are both Western African countries), where our headquarters are based. Thanks to the help of some African craftswomen working to naturally dye cotton, we sustainably complement the passion for fashion Abrima and I share since adolescence, to women’s entrepreneurship.
PS: This adventure therefore seems to be a social commitment that you have cared about, besides a fashion project: how did you decide to collaborate?
RD: We felt it deep down ourselves, we decided thanks to our friendship and the feminine solidarity we have always shared, but also to our instinct to create sustainable businesses. Our entrepreneurial collaboration has grown in Africa, a country we visited together in 2011 when the City of Joy was opened, a project to collect funding to support the independence of women and the education of children with few opportunities. This collaboration has continued so far and it allows us sharing our knowledge to foster change.
AE: This commitment also stems from research and the study of embroidering and local techniques, therefore each natural indigo hand-dyed garment creates the occasion to tell a story, which is unique and special.
PS: Where can Studio 189 Fashion Rising collection be purchased?
AE: You can use our website, www.studiooneeightynine.com and pre-order spring/summer 2015 collection garments.
PS: What are your next targets?
RD: We want to go on investing in the fashion project in our humanitarian effort that has allowed us having a partnership with the United Nations, by contributing via the ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative. We also want to continue our collaboration with Vogue Talents, which has allowed us making our initiative stand out during the latest Milan fashions shows in the Palazzo Morando exhibition and, of course, enjoying our childhood friendship that is at the basis of our success. Mutually be there, one for the other, in any circumstances, has allowed us getting to where we are today.
Said and done: my (very soft) indigo jacket by Studio 189, which I’m wearing in the picture with the two designers, has already been booked online!
For the full interview please click here