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Thee Designer to Know: Volume 2

by Genee 3 months ago in trends / women / models and influencers / industry / footwear / designers / celebrity looks
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By: Genee C

Glass-ceilinged Kogod Courtyard. The Fall-Winter 2021 "Hanifa Dream"

Anifa Mvuemba is a Designer you should get to know if you don't know. Anifa is the owner and CEO of Hanifa. Her style and attention to detail are immaculate. Anifa is known for bold colors, inclusivity with size, and captivating textures. Not to mention a Congolese woman who would not allow the industry to keep her out.

Anifa has also designed for many known faces in the industry such as Issa Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, Zendaya, Sarah Jessica Parker, Bella Hadid, Gabrielle Union, Padma Lakshmi, Lizzo, Peleton's Jess Sims and so much more. I am actually excited for more to come from her in the future. Hanifa is definitely one of those brands I can see myself wearing and also investing in. Hanifa is an all-inclusive black woman-owned clothing brand that caters to all sizes and does not shy away from using all eccentric patterns, textures, and colors that look phenomenal on all tones of black women.

Hanifa - Anifa was introduced into the fashion scene by her mother. She began designing professionally at the age of 21. She launched Hanifa in 2012 and became known for curve-hugging luxury pieces. She was named one of the fast company’s most creative people in business. The fashion label is a contemporary clothing line that varies in different shapes, textures, and styles. She was previously known as a customs and alterations seamstress. Ever since she launched the brand, she has released different collections to serve everyone based on their preferences.

The notoriety and support Hanifa has garnered in the last year alone are all because of Mvuemba's ingenuity. In an industry notably known for exclusionary ways, she's managed to create luxury that keeps no one out - Teen Vogue.

On November 16, the brand finally held its first in-person show at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC in the glass-ceilinged Kogod Courtyard. The Fall-Winter 2021 "Hanifa Dream" presentation celebrated the 10th anniversary of the brand and introduced an array of new pieces alongside classic Hanifa footwear.

"We were originally supposed to show during fashion week, but it just didn't work. It didn't feel right," Mvuemba told CNN after the show. "And I was just like, 'You know what? We're just going to do it here.' I started here (in DC) 10 years ago, and this is where we're going to do our first show."

Last year, Mvuemba made headlines for the virtual show of her Spring-Summer 2020 capsule collection held on Instagram Live. In lieu of models, the clothes were 3D modeled on headless, floating figures, giving the presentation a ghostly feel. The collection itself was a tribute to her Congolese heritage, employing her distinctive use of African-influenced color and silhouettes to pay tribute to the country's women.

"I am so intentional about everything I do with this collection," Mvuemba said at the time on her Instagram page. "If you're African then you know about African seamstresses and how detail is so important, and the color is so important, and prints are so important. I really just wanted to use that in this collection, just to give tribute to African seamstresses."

In "Hanifa Dream," Mvuemba ventured into new textiles, debuting knit dresses, patent leather coats, and structured gowns made of denim. Texture was a theme in the show, as Hanifa melded her signature asymmetric, structured garments into new tactile mediums. One of the first looks was a blue patent leather trench, signifying this expansion in technique.

Mvuemba's label has a history of successfully redefining notions of how a fashion brand must reach its audience. Holding open casting calls to women in the DC area is one of the ways the founder has stayed true to this mission throughout her brand development.

"The world is changing, things are shifting, why do we have to follow what everyone else has been doing?" Mvuemba said.

At times considered a fashion outsider, Mvuemba initially founded her company with no external funding and she has organically grown her fanbase while continuing to operate from her Maryland studio. A lot of the brand's visibility has been down to its relationships with historic Black publications like Essence magazine, and people of color in fashion, media, and entertainment spaces.

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trendswomenmodels and influencersindustryfootweardesignerscelebrity looks

About the author


Hey, what's up my name is MGJ Ivy, I also go by Genee, I am a beginning writer and artist. My milestones with vocal are to write short stories, fictional stories, poem practices, and even write biographies and articles. Enjoy

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