Sponsored

Driving Forces: How Studio 189 Connects Women Across Borders | Presented by Uber

We met up with Abrima Erwiah and Rosario Dawson, the women behind the label Studio 189, to see how Uber is helping grow their social enterprise.

Sponsored content from Uber

Driving Forces is a video series profiling young creative people who are empowering their communities. We've partnered with Uber to highlight the stories of influential women entrepreneurs whose work brings underrepresented voices to the forefront. Read more about how Uber is supporting women in entrepreneurship here.

Not too many fashion brands are built explicitly on the idea of interconnectedness. Studio 189, the label founded by Abrima Erwiah and Rosario Dawson, is different. For one, it's a social enterprise that does more than just produce beautiful clothing. They also work with different groups on projects that use fashion to create positive change in the world.


"Our whole mission is essentially to create this kind of interconnectedness" says Erwiah. "We're thinking about 50 or a 100 years from now, what the world is going to look like. And you can't think about that without questioning how something is made."

Dawson and Erwiah met as teenagers and kept in touch as their careers grew—Dawson's in acting and Erwiah's in fashion. Now they're entrepreneurs united in their desire to work with women. Studio 189 is able to connect clothing produced in Ghana by local women to consumers globally while empowering African communities.

It's these values that they put into their clothes. "We work with people right next door and it's love," says Erwiah. "You meet somebody, you get there, they say you're welcome—'Akwaaba.' If someone's eating they share their food with you. It's very beautiful. We believe this has to be at the crux of what we do."

It's the powerful women in their lives that Dawson credits as their inspiration. "We're go-getters and hustlers," she says. Their constant moving around means that the pair often discusses their ideas on-the-go. It's in the back of an Uber, whether they're headed to a panel in New York or to meet tailors in Accra, Ghana that they find time to connect and to dream. Uber is a part of the underlying infrastructure that allows the Studio 189 team, and many others around the world, to make plans happen and turn their ambitions into reality, one ride at a time.

"When I request a ride in Nigeria or other places it's because...they command a better level of service," say Erwiah. By being able to depend on Uber to get them where they need to be, Erwiah and Dawson can focus on what makes their business such a transformative force.

"A huge part of what our company is," says Dawson, "is to transform our relationship to the planet, our relationship to each other, our relationship to consumption—to be aware and grow from our abundance."

Director: B.Monét

Producer: Ayana Barber

Producer: Oyinkan Olojede

Editor: Darnell Stalworth

Director Of Photography: Eun-ah Lee

Sound: Ley Comas

Production Assistant: Raginee Nath

popular
(Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

Blitz the Ambassador Named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow

The Ghanaian artist and filmmaker is among 175 "individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Ghanaian filmmaker Blitz Bazawule, also known as Blitz the Ambassador has been named a 2020 Guggenheim fellow.

The musician, artist and director behind he critically acclaimed film The Burial of Kojo, announced the news via social media on Thursday, writing: "Super excited to announce I've been awarded the Guggenheim 2020 Fellowship. Truly grateful and inspired."

He is among 175 scholars, "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation's ninety-sixth competition," says the Guggenheim.

Keep reading... Show less
Culture
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

6 South African Podcasts to Listen to During the Lockdown

Here are six South African podcasts worth listening to.

South Africa has been on lockdown for almost two weeks as a measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and it looks like the period might just get extended. If you are one of those whose work can't be done from home, then you must have a lot of time in your hands. Below, we recommend six South African podcasts you can occupy yourself with and get empowered, entertained and informed.


Keep reading... Show less
popular
Photo courtesy of BLK JKS.

7 South African Punk Bands You Should Check Out

Here are some South African punk bands—old and new—that you should be listening to.

For many years, the punk scene in South Africa has been thriving through a hands-on DIY attitude in which bands can foster their own homegrown audience without relying on mainstream culture. Music festivals like Soweto Rock Revolution have played a big part in it. Bands like National Wake showed the way and TCIYF are following that path and making punk more relevant than ever in the country.

Here are seven South African punk bands you should check out.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.