Rosario Dawson is changing the conversation around African fashion

Rosario Dawson, who co-founded Studio 189, a brand headquartered in Ghana that produces African and African-inspired clothing, wants to celebrate fashion made in Africa.

“It’s important to be able to say ‘got and made in Africa,’” the 39-year-old actress and activist explained during “The Talks: Fashion as an Agent of Social Change,” a panel discussion held during New York Fashion Week at Spring Studios on Saturday.

Joined by her co-founder Abrima Erwiah at the talk moderated by WME CMO Bozoma Saint John, Dawson added, “When you look at something made in Italy, you don’t even recognize the brand, but you automatically appreciate the value, and that’s been given to you by years and years of storytelling that has existed long since before we got here.”

The “Sin City” star wants to change that conversation.

“When you see something made in Africa, you think charity. You think craft. And that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. But somehow that’s the story,” she said. “We’re reclaiming that story.”

Dawson explained that buying clothing that aligns with your values is an important step for social change.

“Knowing that you’re voting with your dollar that actually stands in commitment to your integrity and the things that you value, having the opportunity and access to do it … that was something that we wanted to expand.”

Studio 189 was founded in 2013 after Dawson and Erwiah took a trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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