One of our most recent clients or shall we say dance partners- is the burgeoning label Studio 189. Founding partners , Abrima Sims-Erwiah and Rosario Dawson have a vision on a par with Xoomba to make fashion harmless. While the two founders grew up in New York and have a loving attachment to the multicultural dynamic of that city, Abrima is half Ghanaian and the company’s production is based in Ghana. There, they are building a thriving activity of fashion making inspired by local textile traditions and color. Their mission goes far beyond fashion to creating dignified livelihoods in a difficult economy.
Studio 189 discovers Xoomba Textiles
While West Africa is exploding with color and style, the bulk of the textiles we consider “African” are not made in Africa. The best wax fabrics come from Holland. The base of Bazin was often Austrian. And now China floods the market with African style fabrics. Textiles made locally are often rather bulky and not suitable for shirting. They are traditionally made in narrow strips that must be sewn together, adding more bulk. None of the fabrics, locally made or from abroad, available in the African market place are made from locally sourced, organic cotton. And then Studio 189 found us just over the border, in Burkina Faso, making handloomed textiles, light enough for shirts and summer dresses, wide enough for patterns of all sorts, and made of Burkina grown, organic cotton where farmers restore the battered eco-system, the delicate soil structure and protect their own health: one of the few truly African textiles available in Africa!
Made in Africa
What a pleasure to supply a company that is making their goods on this great continent, getting the full value of the local resources. We begin production for the next Studio 189 order this coming week and look forward to packing it up and sending it on a southern bound bus, the real postal system here. (We tried the post office but it never arrived) And the dance of design begins!
Promise and Recognition
CFDA + LEXUS FASHION INITIATIVE
It’s delightful to see this earnest and funky company grow and flourish, and nourish the economy around them. The company was selected as a finalist for the Council of Fashion Designrs of America initiative and with an award of $20,000, is embarking on a nine-month sustainable business development program that runs through June 2018. By the conclusion of the program in June 2018, each of the finalists will present a final strategic blueprint, framing their goals within a key area for continued commitment to sustainability. One brand will be selected as the winner and will be awarded $80,000. We are honored to be a part of this process.
A handsome red and white stripe and a black twill, organic, hand loomed