Ghana’s Studio 189 Takes CFDA + Lexus Fashion Initiative Top Prize

Ghana’s Studio 189 has won the second CFDA + Lexus Fashion* Initiative.

“The CFDA + Lexus Fashion* Initiative is a very important program for the CFDA that focuses on sustainability,” said CFDA’s Steven Kolb, in his introductory remarks. “Sustainability is a core pillar of our work and this program is the foundation of that work”

After the nine-month program, five finalists immerged and joining Studio 189 at the top was Cienne, St. Roche, Whit, and M. Patmos.

According to CFDA, Abrima Erwiah and Rosario Dawson of Studio 189 were honoured with the top prize for their consistent enthusiasm, passion, and strong vision to redesign the supply chain and further connect consumers to artisans.  The design duo is receiving $80,000.

“This year the C/LF*I initiative was intended to provide the designers with unique industry experiences to work toward their goal of developing a more sustainable business,” Espersen said. “Even though tonight marks the completion, I know that they will continue to inspire others within their company and the industry as a whole in driving American fashion.”

Eriwah then announced to the CFDA that a new collection was already in the works and the prize money will be put to good use:We are designing our next collection around principles that we learned in this program. We are designing for circularity in a real way. You have given us the language; you’ve helped us with the tools to figure out how to take it from where we are to another level,” she said.

They shared the good news on their Instagram page with the caption:

We WON!! We did it!! We won a CFDA x Lexus fashion award for our work dedicated to sustainability. We did this. did not expect it. We have worked so hard for so long in the trenches in the community… people have given up so much for us and sacrificed so much. We have sacrificed so much. We have been in a 9month long competition with 4 of the best sustainable brands in the industry. @mpatmos @cienne_ny @whit_ny@st_roche . It has been such a blessing to grow with them and compete with them, to learn with them and laugh with them… We were so surprised when they announced #studio189 last night as the winner. 2 women of color creating an authentic brand with its foundation in africa and America helping to promote an ecosystem and economy for the empowerment of people. We are building community. Our community has rallied behind us and been so supportive. EVERYONE. It’s all love and it’s pure heart. It’s magic. We are magic. You are magic. This is the future unfolding in the present. Watch this space. This is only the beginning. We love you. Thank you. #studio189 #fashionrising#cfdaawards #cfda #lexus ❤️❤️❤️❤️ @cfda @lexususa

From left: Chelsea Healy, Nicole Heim, Parker Argote, Whitney Pozgay, Sue Stemp, Paud Roche, Marcia Patmos, Rachel Espersen, Steven Kolb, Rosario Dawson, and Abrima Erwiah.

PHOTOS BY ANGELA PHAM/BFA.COM

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