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Hanifa’s Debut Runway Show in Washington D.C. – The Hilltop

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Hanifa’s Debut Runway Show in Washington D.C. – The Hilltop

Photo: Getty Images/Shannon Finney

Anifa Mvuemba, a designer from Black, presented her Black-owned clothing line Hanifa at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. The highly anticipated event showcased Hanifa’s Fall/Winter 2021 collection and consisted of a 35-look collection throughout the live runway show. 

The showTitled “Dream”She created whimsical and imaginative pieces that made people eager to see her first collection. The line consists of Hanifa’s signature pieces, paired with new styles and textured materials such as structured denim, bold colors, fringe and dramatic flared sleeves.

“It’s a small community of us in New York, and we stick our necks out for one another. The show was amazing; the pieces were extremely wearable. It’s amazing what she’s doing in her hometown,”Kerby Jean Raymond, founder and creative head of Pyer Moss label based in New York, stated.

The runway showThe National Portrait Gallery’s historic National Portrait Gallery was set up in a beautiful showroom that featured white walls, pink soft luminous light and vibrant greenery. This light was reflected perfectly by the clear chairs marked with the “Hanifa” logo. Upon entering, guests were welcomed by water-paneled floors along with the angelic sounds of an orchestra that played renditions from pop and hip-hop artists such as Drake and Beyonce. 

Mvuemba streamed the event to ensure that all brand fans were included Youtube EventEveryone will be able witness the brand’s 10-year anniversary.

“Honestly for a young black girl that was partially raised in PG County it is so impressive to see so many Black girls, Black women and Black looks in this room,”Bacon Bear, an On Air Personality and DJ said.

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“To see a new fashion to the National Portrait Gallery just feels so black and right like it feels right it feels like this is the beginning and this is the ushering in of that era.”

To open the showMvuemba shared the journey and inspiration behind the brand in the documentary-style clip. This video highlighted her efforts to make an influence beyond the clothes. 

The models started to show the new line. It was obvious that Hanifa was committed to inclusivity and created clothing that allows every woman to feel their best.

“Hanifa reinvigorated my love for style and fashion, especially being a plus-size person. I think like I was tired of the fast fashion brands, I was really trying to find a black woman fashion brand,”Simi Moonlight stated that she is an influencer and content writer. “To be able to kind of witness this brand come from the ground up, I’m obsessed with her. I’m so proud of her. I’m so thankful for her. I feel like she really introduced me to a new way of expressing myself.”

The designerA model call for D.C. residents was dropped just a few short days before the showIt featured an inclusive representation for those who were chosen to walk on the runway show. Belema Derefaka, a Howard University senior law communications major was one of the models. Derefaka contacted the brand after realizing there was an opportunity. showHaving the courage to attend the casting call after it was announced via social media. 

Photo: Getty Images/Shannon Finney.

“The moment I got on the runway, I put it all beside me even though this was my first time in a real show. Unlike some of the other models I’m not signed to an agency so for me it was really about putting my all out there so I was able to show that I can do this,”Belema Derefaka was a Howard student. Hanifa also attended Howard. “Dream” model. “I was literally like for my first show to be Hanifa, it was magical to me.”

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Mvuemba is the self-taught designerShe is well-known in the industry for her vibrant designs, but also for her virtual 3-D work. fashion showIt was introduced in the midst the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. The 3D design concept went viral once streaming on Hanifa’s Instagram Live and has since been modeled by other designers and clothing brands in the industry. 

Hanifa’s designs have been worn by many celebrities, including Ciara, Lizzo, Cardi B, and Real Housewives of Potomac star, Karen Huger who attended the D.C. fashion showTogether with her fellow cast members. Other attendees included influencers, fans, friends, family, and fellow designers. 

“This is one of the most inspiring things I’ve witnessed in a long time. To see the black people and the amount of fashion that was in this room tonight was overwhelming. So she represented so well for the culture and it was an unforgettable night,” said multimedia journalist Gia Peppers.

As of last Friday, many of the pieces from Hanifa’s 35-piece collection are available for purchase at Hanifa.co.

Copy edited by Jasper Smith

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