Studio One Eighty Nine NYFW presentation

October 14, 2014
Today I bring you a Behind the Seams™ feature with my good friend and photographer extraordinaire, Sophie Elgort.  Sophie accompanied me to (and snapped all of the pictures at) my other good friends, Rosario Dawson's and Abrima Erwiah's, Studio One Eighty Nine presentation for their Fashion Rising collection during Fashion Week.  It was really special to be there for Rosario, who has always been so supportive of my line and who has attended my NYFW shows whenever she's been in town.  I interviewed these talented ladies to learn more about the essence of their new line.
Rosario and Abrima talking about their amazing initiatives!
Fashion Rising’s collection is a celebration of brilliant color, artisanal craftsmanship, and the effortlessness of warm, sunny days. The collection comprises 15 looks in a palette of crayon-bright blue, yellow, and green, with touches of bougainvillea and lilac. Silhouettes are clean, easy, and versatile: kimono tops, button-front shirts, high-waisted shorts, and A-line skirts are designed to be mixed and matched; classic sundresses, caftans and a flowing slip dress are sensuous and simple. Fabrics include crisp cotton calico (locally sourced), stretch cotton twill, plush cotton terry, and feather-light crepe de chine, all batiked by hand. In fact, each garment is entirely handmade by artisans in Ghana!


Creators Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah photo c/o Edith Altamiranda

Stacy Igel: Can you tell me more about why you both got involved in this initiative?

Rosario & Abrima: 
Because we believe that fashion and creativity can be an agent for social change. We have both been very fortunate in our very experiences - Rosario through Film, Media, Entertainment, Activism, Philanthropy and Abrima through Luxury, Fashion, Marketing. we have the network, the skill set and we are just at a point in our lives and careers where we would like to make this happen. Also, it's the right time - as Africa is home to some of the fastest growing countries, with incredible talent, creativity and people on the continent... that have centuries-old experience. 

It starts there. With the people. We are doing this because we believe in the artisans and communities that we work with and we have seen first hand how fashion can make a difference. We took a trip a few years ago to Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with Vday - Eve Ensler's organization to end violence against women, where Rosario sits on the board. The trip took us through Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and the Congo and completely changed our lives. We were there for the opening of the city of joy, a leadership center for women who have been the victim of rape and sexual violence. We met women that had been through so much... and were so beautiful and strong. Women who had been raped and violated and yet found the strength to not only survive but excel. They built the city. These are women that were doing amazing craft and fashion and would take proceeds from that and invest in farming... they would then farm cassava (for example) and feed their families and what they sold they would use to pay their kids school fees. That is the power of fashion and craft. The circle was empowering and beautiful and it's a model that has proven sustainable... 

The women asked us in the congo and throughout our travels to help them do more. We have an amazing batiker that we work with in ghana who is very clear about her request to us to get more orders. The more orders we generate, the more work she gets, the more she can grow the work in her own community and invest in her own small business. See video here. 
1.     Our artisan Aggie talking about her work https://vimeo.com/80568824
2.     Our artisan Aggie batiking https://vimeo.com/79785973
We worked with girls in Uganda that were pulled out of school as kids to become cleaning ladies and the only thing that would get them back to school is their interest in studying fashion.

We just had a student Sammy that we met in Ghana a year ago and that spent months begging his father to send him to fashion school. His father ultimately accepted and sent him to a vocational school... which is fantastic. But it's not enough. We love the students that we work with to have a broader training and to receive credits from accredited universities that can be applied towards a degree. It's a chance at a brighter future. Sammy came here to give me a hug and say thank you in person and let me know that his father finally agreed to send him to university. That took a year. It took support from the university, his dad etc... But now he has a chance at a better future. This is something we all do together. 

We - Rosario and I - have been very lucky to have a strong community and support system. We believe in that. We believe in working together and the power of collaboration. We often refer to a traditional west african symbol called "boa me na me mmoa wo "... "it means help me and let me help you"... which is how we work. 


Stacy Igel: What are you most excited for as you embark on building this concept?
Rosario & Abrima: 
Creating. Working together. Traveling. Africa. Growing. Building. Evolving. Preserving crafts and artisanship. Honoring the artisan. The hand behind the product that is made for us to wear with style. Art. Telling their stories. Sharing our stories. Being business Women.  

What we do is very special. We are vertically integrated. We look at the value chain and we work from the first point with the artisan making textiles to designing to manufacturing until it reaches the end consumer. We spent time building that foundation, doing the groundwork and forming relationships with great partners... such as working with the United Nations International Trade Center Ethical Fashion Initiative... and most recently working with Vogue.

It's been a true blessing. 

We get very excited when we see each other. I am so proud of this incredible WOMAN!
Baby Bump was excited for the collection and to see Ro too!
















Thank you Sophie for capturing the beautiful presentation with me xo


Make sure to follow Studio One Eighty Nine and SHOP too
Instagram: @studiooneeightynine
Twitter: @studio189NYC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/studio189nyc
Tumblr: studiooneeightynine.tumblr.com
SHOP: StudioOneEightyNine.com
#StudioOneEitghyNine #Studio189 #FashionRising #AbrimaErwiah #RosarioDawson 

Also check out Rosario's Quarterly box #18902 here!


Meet our October Muse of the Month!

October 3, 2014
Introducing our October ‘14 Muse of the Month, Melissa!
I met Melissa a year ago while casting models for the Just Dance with Boy Meets Girl® NYFW show. I remember her walking in and turning to my team and writing on a piece a paper done! Melissa walked in with a smile on her face and embodied that Boy Meets Girl look. I think at the time she was in the beginning of her modeling career and this was one of her first NYFW shows to walk in. If you see from her instagram her modeling career is booming and I am always so happy when I discover a new talent. Learn more about Melissa below and why we picked her for this months Muse of the Month. 


1. Name and Social media channels: Melissa Martinez
Instagram: @melissamartinez14 

2. Favorite charity to support and why?
I don't have a specific charity but but I make sure that twice a year I get rid of my clothes shoes and jewelry that I don't use anymore and also ask family members and friends to do the same and we donate them to local churches. I love giving back especially to girls who aren't as fortunate to have as much clothes as I do.  It's always an great feeling to the little change I make when I go to Sunday service and see the girls wear the clothes I donated and put their own personal style into them.


3. Favorite Boy Meets Girl® item and why?

Don't Stop Crop Top is definitely my favorite because it's so comfortable yet looks so cute with anything. The fabric is so soft on the skin and is the best for the colder summer nights we've been having. Gold is my favorite metal to wear and having the gold detail on the sweater compliments the jewelry that I pair with it perfectly. Hands down my new favorite boy meets girl clothing item!


Who is your muse or the person who inspires you most? Could be anyone! If you would like to be considered for Boy Meets Girl®'s Muse of the Month see the rules here!


Ice Ice...

October 1, 2014

Photo shot by Thomas Concordia for Wire Image  
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Stacy Igel attends ELLE Runway Collection By Kohl's 


 
Earlier in the day these adorable Vloggers Claudia of BeyondBeautyStar and Stephanie of  SMLx0 visited me in the Boy Meets Girl® style lounge. I loved learning all about them and how they got started doing their channels. Of course we all made wishes in the Wish Wall :)  We all posted about the visit on our Insta channels and their was an explosion of comments on my Ice Ice...shirt that my hubby Dj Blue Steel gave me (thank you B). If you cannot have fun with what you wear what is life right? So I have to of course leave you with an oldie but a goodie by Vanilla Ice 


what i wore:
Tank: Ice Ice
Jeans: AG maternity
Jacket: vintage Zara
Shoes: Nikes
Necklace: BMG X RL
Rings: BMG X RL