28. Stu­dio One Eighty Nine

The Hand of Fashion - - CONTENTS -

Stu­dio One Eighty Nine is more than a fash­ion la­bel, it is a so­cial en­ter­prise and col­lec­tive for a se­lec­tion of fash­ion brands, artists, mu­si­cians and pho­tog­ra­phers...

Pho­tos (th­ese pages) of Stu­dio One Eighty Nine’s SS15 col­lec­tion by Ja­son Eric Hard­wick Pho­tog­ra­phy.

...and it is more than a side project for a fa­mous ac­tress. Rosario Daw­son and Abrima Er­wiah have been friends since they were chil­dren, grow­ing up on the same New York block they re­united as adults to cre­ate Stu­dio One Eighty Nine, a plat­form to help pro­mote and cu­rate African and African-in­spired con­tent through an ecom­merce shop­ping site, a sup­port­ing agency and an ar­ti­san pro­duced fash­ion col­lec­tion called Fash­ion Ris­ing Col­lec­tion. Work­ing with ar­ti­sans in the Cape Coast re­gion of Ghana the pair re­cently launched the Stu­dio One Eighty Nine’s sec­ond Fash­ion Ris­ing Col­lec­tion, a col­lec­tion in which ev­ery piece of fab­ric is hand-dyed by ar­ti­sans in Ghana and in fact, each gar­ment is en­tirely made by the ar­ti­sans. Images of the de­vel­op­ment of the col­lec­tion and links to watch films follow on the next pages but the duo’s own de­signs and col­lec­tions are only part of the Stu­dio One Eighty Nine story. The idea ger­mi­nated fol­low­ing a trip with Eve Ensler’s V-Day move­ment in Fe­bru­ary, 2011, through Kenya, Bu­rundi and Rwanda to Bukavu in the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo for the open­ing of the City of Joy. The trip cre­ated a de­sire within the pair to fo­cus on cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for em­pow­er­ment, ed­u­ca­tion and em­ploy­ment of ar­ti­sans and cre­atives. In 2012, One Bil­lion Ris­ing was launched as part of the V-Day move­ment, a global cam­paign to end vi­o­lence against women, rise for jus­tice and pro­mote gen­der equal­ity and the cause re­mains in­te­gral to the machi­na­tions of Stu­dio One Eighty Nine and its many part­ners. Less than four years after that first trip and Stu­dio One Eighty Nine rep­re­sents, or part­ners with, mul­ti­ple de­sign­ers in ad­di­tion to re­leas­ing the Fash­ion Ris­ing Col­lec­tion: Bot­tle­top - a line of bags cre­ated by Cameron Saul and Oliver Way­man. In the early 2000s, Saul launched the Bot­tle­top Foun­da­tion with his fa­ther Roger (founder of Mul­berry) and cre­ated a hand­made bag made from re­cy­cled bot­tle­tops in Africa that were lined with Mul­berry leather in Europe. Hence the name. The Stu­dio One Eighty Nine x Bot­tle­top col­lab­o­ra­tion of three hand­painted Enamel Line bags were crafted and fin­ished by hand in Sal­vador, Brazil, us­ing up-cy­cled alu­minium ring pulls. Geren Ford - a pre­mium brand of cloth­ing and ac­ces­sories with over 300 doors world­wide in­clud­ing Bar­neys New York, Har­vey Ni­chols, Bergdorf Good­man and Neiman Mar­cus founded by Cal­i­for­nia-based Geren Lock­hart. Gold Coast Trad­ing rep­re­sents founder Emeka Alams’ time in the Cape Coast in Ghana, where he was par­tic­u­larly moved by a visit to the re­gion’s Elmina Slave Cas­tle. His pro­duc­tion is now split be­tween the USA and West Africa and Gold Coast Trad­ing has also col­lab­o­rated di­rectly with Eve Ensler’s

One Bil­lion Ris­ing. Ugan­dan de­signer Anna-Clare Lukoma aka Lulu learned her trade at the Yokohama Fash­ion De­sign Col­lege in Ja­pan and the Tiner In­ter­na­tional School of Fash­ion and Beauty in Uganda. To re­flect this bi-cul­tural school­ing she ini­tially launched Ni­honAfriq in 2004 within which she worked with lo­cal crafts­men and ar­ti­sans be­fore launch­ing Lulu in 2011 and col­lab­o­rat­ing with Stu­dio One Eighty Nine. Menzer Ha­jiyeva draws on the her­itage of Azer­bai­jan in a scarf col­lab­o­ra­tion which mixes mod­ern tech­nol­ogy (pho­tog­ra­phy, dig­i­tal print­ing) with man­ual pro­duc­tion (batik, silk paint­ing and fab­ric dye­ing). The scarves also in­cor­po­rate Ghana­ian Adinkra sym­bols. Shine on Sierra Leone - cocu­ra­tor of Stu­dio One Eighty Nine pro­ducer Tif­fany Per­sons and film­maker Re­becca Chaik­lin’s trip to Sierra Leone to film sep­a­rate doc­u­men­taries in 2006 sparked a love for the peo­ple of the war-torn coun­try and a spe­cial love for the weav­ing and wo­ven blan­kets sold there. This has since grown to a se­lec­tion of beau­ti­ful ar­ti­san-cre­ated scarves. Last but not least, New York-based Ta­iana, aka Ta­iana Giefer cre­ates Merino wool pieces us­ing an old felt­ing tech­nique; no loom, just raw fiber, warm wa­ter, nat­u­ral soap made from olive oil and two hands. Each piece is 100% hand­made by the de­signer and there­fore 100% unique. Ta­iana has a his­tory of col­lab­o­rat­ing with de­sign­ers; for Calvin Klein’s Fall 2009 col­lec­tion she col­lab­o­rated with head de­signer Francisco Costa with a se­ries of cus­tom fab­rics and she has since worked in a simi­alr way with Rick Owens, Hel­mut Lang, Maiyet, Inaisce, Faux­tale De­sign and once again with Calvin Klein. Like the Eth­i­cal Fash­ion Ini­tia­tive with whom Rosario and Abrima col­lab­o­rate reg­u­larly, Stu­dio One Eighty Nine is a great shared vi­sion for a bet­ter world, where re­spect, a mantra of work not char­ity and the em­pow­er­ment of women are at its core.

This page: Friends, fun, work! Op­po­site (top): Abrima ap­ply­ing the block to the hand-dyed fab­ric print. Photo: ITC EFI. (Bot­tom left): Rosario get­ting (her hands) into it. Photo: Stu­dio 189 (Bot­tom right) An ar­ti­san work­ing on dye­ing and batik. Photo: ITC

This page: Rosario and Abrima at work in Ghana. Op­po­site: Fresh, hand-dye­ing and batik Pho­tos: ITC EFI

Watch the film: Fab­ric is hand­dyed and painted in Ghana

Watch the film: Ag­gie the Ar­ti­san’s mes­sage from Ghana

Watch the film: Rosario and Abrima in­ter­viewed by Hot 9t Fm

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