Africa Fashion Guide
A social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa's fashion and textile industry.


October 7th, 2014

Celebration of Colour, Crafts and Sunny days – 2015 collection by Studio One Eighty Nine

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Written by: Jacqueline Shaw
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Studio One Eighty Nine founded by actress Rosario Dawson and luxury executive Abrima Erwiah is proud to have partnered with the United Nation’s ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative at the recent Vogue Talents in Milan. Studio One Eighty Nine shares a similar mission of the Ethical Fashion Initiative: women empowerment and poverty reduction through the agency of fashion.

At the heart of the Studio One Eighty Nine social enterprise is the concept of building a fairer fashion industry by creating artisan produced collections. Vogue Talents offers the perfect opportunity for the Ethical Fashion Initiative and Studio One Eighty to further showcase the great possibilities of African and Ethical fashion.

The Studio One Eighty Nine Fashion Rising Collection was on display at Palazzo Morando on Via Sant’Andrea 6 at Vogue Talent’s from the 18th to the 21st of September.

We would now like to present to you the Studio One Eighty Nine’s Spring 2015 Fashion Rising collection is a celebration of brilliant colour, artisanal craftsmanship, and the effortlessness of warm, sunny days. It is an evolution from previous seasons. They have pushed the use of handmade elements and played with fabrics, colours, shapes and silhouettes. The collection comprises womenswear and menswear looks all inspired by nature and the interaction of human relationships within it. The colour palette is inspired by the beach and jungle as well as the flamingos taking flight in Kenya. Colours include bright hues of yellow, light sea blue, deep ocean blue, sky blue, rich mud browns, banana leaf greens, and gradient shades of flamingo pink with a hint of black. There is an assortment of styles that take you from daytime, to the beach to the evening straight to the airplane.

Silhouettes continue to be clean, easy, and versatile: kimono tops, button-front shirts, high-waisted shorts, and A-line skirts are designed to be mixed and matched; classic sundresses, caftans and a flowing slip dress are sensuous and simple. Layering and wrapping are used to explore motion, contour, and form.

Prints are central to the collection, including geometric patterns, stripes, dots and swirls. Fabrics include rich blue indigos hand-dyed in Mali from the plant extract; mud-cloth made using the traditional bogolanfini technique, hand-dyed in Mali in brown, black, and white and featuring patterned designs such as hand-painted village scenes of everyday life in Africa. A special print inspired by bogolanfini mud cloth has been designed as a signature of the S189 collection. They continue to use locally sourced cotton calico as well as Italian silks and cottons, all batiked by hand in Ghana. Local artists have contributed hand-painting details to skirts, scarves and caftans.

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A carefully thought-out group of accessories finishes the collection. There are cotton and cotton and canvas tote bags in a range of sizes, a yoga-mat bag, and most ingenious—a cotton garment bag, designed to make dry-cleaner plastic obsolete. There are basket bags hand-woven in the northern region of Ghana using dried grass with naturally dyed leather details. There are glass beads hand-moulded from recycled bottles, including from Guinness beer and Moet & Chandon Champagne. And there are a multitude of silk scarves, some silk-screened, others hand-painted with designs including a flamingo pattern..

A very special new piece-a hand-carved, hand-engraved brass pendant made by their goldsmith summarizes the way they work. The pendant features a traditional Adinkra symbol called “boa me na me mmoa wo” a symbol of inter-cooperation that means “Help Me and Let Me Help You.” This is how they work with all their partners and artisans. The pendant comes in various sizes.

The proceeds from the sale of Studio One Eighty Nine Fashion Rising Collection products go back to supporting women, job creation, education, and empowerment projects. The Adinkra symbol has an additional special cause – proceeds will allow us to buy water filters to help prevent cholera (recent outbreaks have occurred in Ghana and other parts of West Africa where we work) and other preventable diseases.

Studio One Eighty Nine’s Spring 2015 Collection is available for special order immediately and will be on sale on their website and with select retailers starting in January 2015.

To learn more visit and Contact



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