Updated: Dec 15, 2021
On November 16, contemporary womenswear brand Hanifa held its debut runway show at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Congolese designer Anifa Mvuemba launched Hanifa in 2012. However, she gained viral success during last year’s lockdown when she presented a 3D fashion show over Instagram Live. At a time when we were struggling to define the future of the fashion industry — and opening the many cans of worms present — Anifa made it legible that she’s here to make space for all Black women while being refreshingly innovative.
Titled "Dream," the Fall/Winter '21 collection featured Hanifa's house codes. There were trench coats in electric colors, asymmetrical leather shirt dresses, jewel-toned knits, and an audacious denim mermaid dress. The show looked like a dream indeed, as did the gallery — guests sat on flamingo pink chairs, violinists played classical renditions of modern songs, and greenery lined the walls.
Hanifa also debuted new footwear: the Zoe Boot and Zeta Sandal. According to the website, they are priced at $659 and $369, respectively, and come in various colors. Select pieces from the collection will also be available on the site this Friday.
As usual, the runway show featured curvy and plus-sized models. While many other designers lazily squeeze these models into clothes with unflattering cuts, the Hanifa models appeared comfortable and as though the clothes were handcrafted for their bodies. This is not to say daring cuts were absent, but they were executed with intentionality and care. Hanifa remains the brand for women who like to stand out and look fabulous while doing so.
The brand's trajectory has been incredible to witness so far, and there's no doubt much more in store.
View the show here.