Studio One Eighty-Nine
Studio One Eighty-Nine had a long line outside Spring Studios, the venue for its Fall 2019 presentation. Supposedly, the brand was staging a performance, which is why security had everyone waiting for over half an hour. Most left after 20 minutes: a very reasonable time considering the steep drop in temperature that day. But those that stayed—and were finally allowed entry—were warmed up instantly by designers Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah’s collection.
They showed options for men, women and children that were distinctly urbane and dutifully sprightly. There were elegant kimonos, a fitted wide-leg jumpsuit with blouson sleeves and floor-length ruffle skirts. The suits, which came in a range of indigo and batik textiles, were particularly striking. “This is our Sunday Best collection,” said Dawson to the crowd. “You see a lot of ancient [African] techniques that are still so beautiful today.”
Great as the designs were, the overriding mission of the brand is to create sustainable pieces that work with local artisans in communities to produce African and African-inspired apparel and accessories. “It’s about more than fashion,” said Erwiah. “We’re here with purpose and a reason."