In September, when the New York trend scene converged for town’s full return to reside runway exhibits for the reason that Covid-19 pandemic, one highly-anticipated model was visibly absent from the runway. Months after being awarded a CFDA/Vogue Trend Fund grant for rising designers, Anifa Mvuemba, founder of ladies’s attire label Hanifa, opted out of the Manhattan bustle with a easy message to its patrons: “keep tuned.”
Mvuemba has made a reputation for herself main an impartial Black model dedicated to that includes primarily Black and Brown fashions, and providing inclusive sizing from 0 to twenty. Hanifa, which is primarily e-commerce-based, has been worn by celebrities together with Beyoncé, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Issa Rae.
On November 16, the model lastly held its first in-person present on the Nationwide Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC within the glass-ceilinged Kogod Courtyard. The Fall-Winter 2021 “Hanifa Dream” presentation celebrated the tenth anniversary of the model and launched an array of latest items alongside traditional Hanifa footwear.
Anita Mvuemba celebrated 10 years of Hanifa with its fall-winter 2021 present “Hanifa Dream.” Credit score: Shannon Finney/Getty Photos for Hanifa
“We had been initially supposed to point out throughout trend week, however it simply did not work. It did not really feel proper,” Mvuemba instructed CNN after the present. “And I used to be identical to, ‘You realize what? We’re simply going to do it right here.’ I began right here (in DC) 10 years in the past, and that is the place we will do our first present.”
Mvuemba has been acknowledged by the CFDA/Vogue Trend Fund and her types are liked by celebrities together with Beyoncé, Tracee Ellis Ross and Issa Rae. Credit score: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Photos
In “Hanifa Dream,” Mvuemba ventured into new textiles, debuting knit clothes, patent leather-based coats and structured robes manufactured from denim. Texture was a theme within the present, as Hanifa melded her signature uneven, structured clothes into new tactile mediums. One of many first appears was a blue patent leather-based trench, signifying this enlargement in approach.
“The world is altering, issues are shifting, why do we’ve got to comply with what everybody else has been doing?” Mvuemba stated.
Trend has seen the rise of Black-owned and -operated labels, however trend historian Shelby Ivie Christie says there may be nonetheless work to be completed. Credit score: Zara Israel
At instances thought-about a trend outsider, Mvuemba initially based her firm with no exterior funding and she or he has organically grown her fanbase whereas persevering with to function from her Maryland studio. A number of the model’s visibility has been right down to its relationships with historic Black publications like Essence journal, and other people of shade in trend, media, and leisure areas.
Mvuemba, who’s Congolese, is closely influenced by African tradition and design, however she says she did not wish to be labeled as an African designer due to inequity. Credit score: Shannon Finney/Getty Photos for Hanifa
“Once I began, I did not wish to be labeled as an African designer as a result of they’re positioned in a separate class,” Mvuemba stated. “I at all times use African tradition in my tailoring, which is so vital. You see the seams, you see the construction, you see the gorgeous prints. So, I simply needed to nonetheless have that and do it my own manner. And that is what I have been doing since I began.”