The Coronavirus pandemic has led to artists and brands from various industries scrambling to make the necessary adjusts to remain relevant and thrive in this new normal. Anifa Mvuemba, a Congolese designer and resident of Maryland, took to social media and shocked the fashion world with a beautiful 3D runway presentation. Three-dimensional headless/limbless figures “walked” an invisible runway showcasing pieces from the Pink Label Collection, the lastest colletion from her brand, Hanifa. It was groundbreaking, innovative, and hauntingly beautiful to see the vibrant colors and designs float down the catwalk. Mvuemba shared, “We know that some people may never experience a fashion week or Hanifa showcase, so we wanted to show up for our audience where they show up for us on a daily basis. That’s when Instagram became the obvious choice.”
She had been sitting on this idea for nearly seven years and in that time honed the necessary skills to execute this presentation flawlessly. This meant a critical understanding of the human form and 3D modeling. The 3D figures were effectively a nod to black women as they celebrated the curvature and beauty of black bodies. The Pink Label Congo collection was directly inspired by the often overlooked women and beauty of Congo.
In a statement on the Hanifa website Mvuemba explained, “Riddled with a painful history, the beauty of Congo is often untapped and overlooked. The gentleness, beauty, history, poise, majesty, strength, power, and hope of the Congolese spirit inspired this collection. When creating each piece, I was reminded of the stories my mother told me of the women she knew back home in Congo. Women who suffered great loss but still, mustered every ounce of strength everyday to show up. My hope is that this collection inspires all women to stand tall in their power and like the Democratic Republic of Congo, to use their history, whether pretty or painful — to redesign their future. My country, the land of Congo, is ripe with an abundance of natural resources — the greatest of which are its people — its women.”
Mvuemba is “standing tall” in her power as she, a once less confident individual, has found her creative voice and passion through design and innovative showcasing. Mvuemba is intentional about her designs paying homage to her native country of Congo.
“I am so intentional about everything I do with this collection,” Mvuemba said. “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.”
Check out the full video on @Hanifaofficial IGTV