While I was in East Hampton, my cousin Leah told me about this pop up shop in Montauk that she was working with over the weekend. Founded by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, Studio 189 is a collective of people from diverse creative backgrounds that provide a fashion platform for African and African-inspired designs.
Studio 189 has special fashion collection that is produced exclusively by artisans in Africa, called Fashion Rising. The goal behind Studio 189 and the Fashion Rising collection is to provide education, economic opportunity, and a feeling of empowerment for women in Africa.
The patterns and colors on these clothes and accessories blew me away. Many of the patterns are inspired by traditional West African symbols. My personal favorite pattern is of the symbol for cooperation and interdependence, and it translates into, “Help me and let me help you.”
However, my heart skipped a beat at the price. The price for a dress was $175, a vegan leather tote bag was $250, and scarves were about $390. The prices are understandable considering the motive behind the brand and what Studio 189 is trying to accomplish. Everything is handmade by talented African artisans, and every piece is impeccably designed.