New York City native Abrima Erwiah has an almost two decade long luxury-brand marketing career, but she continues to be a student of the game. She earned her bachelor’s degree in finance and international business from the NYU Stern School of Business, a Master’s from NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and is currently a part of the CFDA + Lexus Fashion Initiative, a program dedicated to inspiring leadership, development and change in sustainable business. But Erwiah has been successfully running a sustainable business for some time now. As co-founder and co-creative director of Studio 189 (headquartered in Ghana, West Africa and the USA) with actress, activist and friend Rosario Dawson, Erwiah has been making social impact on education, employment opportunities, and empowerment. The fashion driven platform has helped promote and curate African and African-inspired content through various projects for the past five years. “I am very interested in the handmade, and in preserving culture as well as innovation. I am curious and I like traveling and learning and strategic thinking and applying that for a greater purpose,” she shares.
Eventually, she’d like to be in position to influence policy as it relates to social and economic development. As if she doesn’t have enough on her plate. Currently, she’s working on a collaboration with high-end sustainable brand EDUN, launching a project with the United Nations International Trade Centre Agribusiness division to support farmers in Ghana, operating two Studio 189 stores (one in NYC and one in Accra), preparing for the Spring 2018 collection and a music collaboration called Bumper to Bumper with DJ Uproot Andy. When asked what part of her upbringing has informed her path, she explained, “I am Ghanaian, Ivorian and American...When I travel home and visit my family in Ghana for example, and I see young girls that look just like me, maybe even related to me, I see myself... I see how easily I could be them and they could be me. It is one reason that I think it is important that everyone gets a fair opportunity... It is why I hoped that with Studio 189 we could train others and empower them to be able to do the work themselves so that they can take control over their own futures and not rely on charity or someone else's generosity.”