News Brief

Studio 189 Wins CFDA x Lexus Eco Fashion Initiative Award

Ghanaian/Ivorian-American fashion business woman, Abrima Erwiah, and actress, activist, Rosario Dawson, claim the prize from one of the most difficult fashion brand competitions.

Studio 189, run by Ghanaian/Ivorian-American, fashion business woman and OkayAfrica 100 Women honoree, Abrima Erwiah, and activist, actress, artist, singer and producer, Rosario Dawson, champion the 2017-2018 CFDA x Lexus Eco fashion Initiative.

The Initiative was "to facilitate steps to measurable progress thereby furthering American fashion's journey to sustainability." It provided mentorship, and gave its participants the opportunity to grow as a fashion business as a leader, and inspire change and innovation. Erwiah and Dawson's Studio 189 proved it was able to be a platform to do just that and more.


Headquartered in Ghana, USA and throughout West Africa, the company showcases and sells fashionable items while spreading African pride and female empowerment.

According to the initiative, Studio 189 has managed to "target aspects of their design and business strategies to define actionable goals in areas such as consumer consciousness, bespoke product and service innovations, and ethical methods."

"What we're trying to do is make change," Erwiah says in an interview with OkayAfrica back in March regarding her collaborations and work with Studio 189. "What we're trying to do is put together and create a space where all the different players are doing something really interesting and we're creating larger connections."

We're proud of our indicted 100 Women honoree, Erwiah for such a great accomplishment. The announcement of Studio 189's award presented by CFDA x Lexus Eco not only speaks for the company, but also says that African fashion and cultural influence is in fact rising higher in America, within the fashion industry and beyond.

Music
(Youtube)

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Fireboy DML, Juls, Adekunle Gold and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Film
Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty.

Michaela Coel Joins the 'Black Panther' Sequel Cast

The upcoming film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is shaping up.

The sequel to the Oscar-winning Black Panther is only due to debut in July of 2022, but the production is well on its way.

The latest news out of the camp is that Michaela Coel, of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum fame, has officially joined the cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Her character details are still under wraps but according to Variety, Coel has already joined director Ryan Coogler at Atlanta's Pinewood Studios, where production started in late June.

Coel joins original cast members Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong'o, Florence Kasumba, and Angela Bassett all reprising their roles. Following the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel reportedly chose not to recast the role of T'Challa.

Read: How Michaela Coel's 'I May Destroy You' Makes Space For Black Creators

"It's clearly very emotional without Chad," Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige mentions. "But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We're going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud."

Michaela Coel's highly-lauded 2020 series I May Destroy You — which she wrote, directed, produced and stared in — received four Emmy nominations.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for wide release on July 8, 2022.

Meet Duro Arts, the Man Behind Your Favorite Afrobeats Album Covers

We talk to the Lagos-based digital artist about his work with Olamide, Phyno, Falz and more.

Duro Arts has found himself illustrating the cover artwork for a new wave of Nigerian musicians. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Oluwadurotimi Bolaji Idowu started digital art in 2010, at a time where afrobeats music was still grasping its feet. Now, 11 years later, he has made covers for heavyweight hitmakers like Peruzzi, Phyno, Olamide, Zlatan, Oxlade, and Davido.

We caught up with Duro Arts on a Sunday afternoon over Zoom. He took the call from Accra, Ghana, where he's currently working. We talked about his journey as a digital artist, his portfolio, creative process, and the changes he'd like to see in the creative industry.

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Series Producer Bonga Percy Vilakazi Is Big On Telling Progressive Stories

The award-winning South African writer and producer cut his teeth in the TV industry washing and drying make-up sponges. Today, he's responsible for entertaining millions of soapie lovers on the African continent.