Best friends Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah know that the best things in life come in pairs. There’s Studio One Eighty Nine, of course, Dawson and Erwiah’s ethical fashion line that recently launched at Opening Ceremony. And then there’s the Quann sisters, fashion-forward twins reinventing beauty standards and serving as role models for women of color around the world.Via her fashion blog Urban Bush Babes, Cipriana Quann puts a spotlight on natural hairstyles and up-and-coming brands, artists, and causes while helping to build a community of empowered women. Her twin sister Takenya Quann (also known by her onstage moniker TK Wonder) is a singer and DJ, shaking up the electro-blend music scene with lyrics that casually encourage confidence and an all-together badass outlook on the world.
Naturally, the two pairs of BFFs had a lot to discuss. Below, Dawson and Erwiah interview the Quanns about conscious fashion, the importance of remaining humble, and how style can be a platform for social change.
ROSARIO DAWSON: What social cause do you guys feel strongly about? What are you doing to break the mold and give that issue the proper attention it deserves?
CIPRIANA QUANN: When I started the site [Urban Bush Babes], I felt passionately about women trying to break the mold of what real beauty is and show by example that beauty comes from more than what you look like. It comes from how you treat people, your work ethic, and how you give back.
CQ: A lot of times people think you have to keep social issues separate from political issues and fashion—like they don’t mix. We totally don’t believe that at all. A lot of times you can use your platform to spread the word on a cause.
ABRIMA ERWIAH: You guys are such beautiful women constantly striving to come up with new ideas. At the same time, even with your success, you remain humble and focused on the cause. Who is a person who has helped you on your path?
CQ: It really started with our mother. She was our biggest inspiration growing up. She had this whole motto of “work really hard and even if you’re not sure what you want to do, just try different things and find your happiness.” When I think of someone I look up to, it’s not only my mother, but TK as well. You can’t get through this life alone. That’s not a sign of weakness; it’s just a sign of strength. We truly believe in collaboration and showing love and support—especially when it comes to women—but also people in general.
RD: I love what you said about it not being a weakness to need somebody else. We’re all related; this is our journey together. What’s a time you’ve paid it forward and truly helped somebody?
TQ: I think people in this virtual word are inundated with social media and TV and lose something that’s really imperative like helping someone else. It can just be very simple things that you do in