Abrima Erwiah photo

Abrima Erwiah

co-founder, Studio One Eighty Nine


Abrima Erwiah has more than 16 years of fashion and luxury experience. She is a former global marketing and communications executive for Bottega Veneta, a luxury-goods company under Kering (former Gucci Group/PPR) Group where she stayed for nearly a decade. She has additionally held positions for Hermes/John Lobb, Bureau Betak and Cesare Paciotti. In 2012, she was appointed a Marketing & Communications Executive Mentor by the Kering Foundation for Women's Dignity & Rights, to an organization based in Uganda called AFRIpads that makes affordable, washable sanitary napkins to help curb school absenteeism for girls skipping school when they have their period mostly in rural areas. Her interest in social and economic development has brought her to Africa. Based out of Ghana, West Africa, Erwiah is also working in partnership with the United Nations International Trade Center Ethical The Ethical Fashion Initiative is a flagship programme of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. The Ethical Fashion Initiative links the world’s top fashion talents to marginalised artisans - the majority of them women - in East and West Africa, Haiti and the West Bank. Active since 2009, the Initiative enables artisans living in urban and rural poverty to connect with the global fashion chain. Erwiah is currently co-founder and co-creative director of a social enterprise called Studio One Eighty Nine that she co-founded with actress and activist, Rosario Dawson, which is focused on achieving social impact as it relates to education, economic/employment opportunities, and empowerment. With the mission of using fashion as an agent for social change, Studio One Eighty Nine seeks to provide a platform to help promote and curate African and African-inspired content through various projects such as media and cultural events and projects. Studio One Eighty Nine curates an online magazine, offers marketing & communications services and creates a fashion collection working with local artisans. Originally, launched in support of V-Day’s One Billion Rising, working to create awareness of One Billion Rising, to stop violence against women and empower women by building sustainable fashion and artisanal businesses. The mission of Studio One Eighty Nine took shape following a trip by Dawson and Erwiah with V-Day in February, 2011, through Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda to Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the opening of the City of Joy. Erwiah has worked in all areas of fashion and luxury marketing including advertising, editorial, creative services, production, digital communications/ecommerce, fashion shows etc Erwiah holds a bachelor's business degree from NYU Stern School of Business and is working on a master's of arts degree from NYU Gallatin specializing in the Economic and Social implications of luxury goods in Africa. Erwiah teaches regular workshops at Radford University in Ghana and has been a guest professor at NYU in NYC, at Alliance Francaise in Kampala for International Women’s Day and at the University of Ghana. Erwiah was born and raised in NYC, attended the Lycee Francais, speaks English, French and Italian. She currently lives between US and Ghana and has additionally lived in Italy and Uganda. Studio One Eighty Nine was selected as a rising African brand by Design Indaba as part of the “Africa is Now” Exhibit and has recently appeared as a stand-out brand in WWD, ABC, CNN, Wall Street Journal, in style.com, Vogue, the FT “How to Spend It”, africafashionguide.com, coolhunting and more.

Twitter: @studio189nyc