Hanifa Ready-to-Wear Collection for Spring 2023

Live Out Loud is the title of Anifa Mvuembe’s offer for summer 2022 for Hanifa, a Washington-based publishing house that caught the attention of the industry after its viral Pink Label Congo The 3-D catwalk show debuted on Instagram live in May 2020. “A lot of what I do at Hanifa is in line with me and my individual growth,” the designer said during a review of the collection on video shooting, which premieres tonight. “We grew and I wanted this to represent that growth.”

In the last two years, Hanifa has gone from an online brand to a solid member of the American fashion landscape. Not only are his hats often sold out, but he became a favorite of celebrities wearing Beyonce, Gabrielle Union and Sarah Jessica Parker, and was a recipient of the 2021 CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund. With this collection, Mvuemba was ready to record that shift “emergence” to the established. “Last year [in D.C.] is a dream come true, it’s about getting into a dream and living it, ”Mvuemba said.

The collection itself represents an explosion of colors that successfully balances the contemporary aesthetics that Mvuemba has developed with the myriad trends that have emerged over the past year. There are baggy pants, chunky bodycon knits, necklines and a sexy Y2K-style sensibility that has expanded into fashion. Some of these forms are welcome to go to Mvuemba, expand its design language and the growth statement it speaks of. “I’m in a place where I don’t want to make excuses,” she said, thinking about the past year. “I’m a designer and I want to be recognized as such, not because of ‘Instagram stuff’ or ‘Black Girl.'”

Solid color clothing in intense colors showed Hanifa’s technical growth. The tailoring is precise on the wide range of bodies that Mvuemba has cast for both the video and the lookbook, and her draping is organic, remarkable in its lightness. Where she really shone was the addition of a corset. A mini dress with buttons with a corset and a torso half corset-half draped stood out, as well as a corset with exposed silk bones in combination with a skirt folded with a napkin. “We really wanted to master corsets and bones,” Mwuemba said. “We’ve been trying for years, but I hope we’ve succeeded this time.”

Mvuemba wants to expand to a more formal offering, so she researched fabrics in space. “I want to be recognized as a global luxury brand without losing our core customer, it’s a gap I want to close here, to grow with our customers.” This desire is reflected not only in the evening clothes of the collection, but also in its spread to footwear. The finish, a skillfully layered dress with feather ruffles, was particularly striking. The fitted hooded dress also hit.

“I wanted to bring this collection back into focus on women’s bodies and female form,” she said as the model tried on the latest dress, “to give something a little different and really show off my range.”

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