Haunting, beautiful and brilliant | Daily News


Haunting, beautiful and brilliant

In a world where we don’t know what the future holds for the fashion industry or fashion shows, Anifa Mvuemba is at the forefront of changing the game. At the end of last month, the Congolese designer of contemporary brand Hanifa debuted her latest collection on Instagram Live via 3D models.

The innovation behind her digital show is very telling of the times we’re in, but the Teen Vogue Generation Next alum actually tells us she had plans for a digital show long before the stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 were in place.

“The news came out about how serious things were and I started to feel a bit anxious about everything going on. I started feeling like maybe it would be insensitive to create and share a new collection online while people were facing very difficult realities,” Anifa tells Teen Vogue.

Following our journey to Congo via Instagram Live, the fashion show commenced. 3D models “walked” eloquently down the screen with garments draped on their three dimensional curves. From a colourful backless ribbed dress representing the Congo flag colors, to a curve-hugging maxi dress completed with detailed pockets and side ruching, to the finale’s floor length silk gown emblazoned with grassy hills and rivers, every piece told a story.

“I want these pieces to tell a story of meaning. I want them to remind us to be intentional about what we create. Not for clout or for Instagram likes, but for the sake of meaning what we say by storytelling through our designs.” Anifa says, adding that she wants to pay homage to all African seamstresses with her work, not just those from Congo.

The designer selected Instagram as her platform in order to create access and give everyone a front row seat to the detail and delicacy of the clothes.

“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.”

Shortly after the show, screen recordings quickly made their way to Twitter and went viral.In addition to creating a possible blueprint for the future of fashion, the show’s use of 3D models offers a different way for consumers to access clothing.

“With a digital model you’re determining the measurements and what would cause the model to look most realistic,” Anifa says.

“Without real women to draw inspiration from there could be no 3D models to emulate our beautiful skin tones, curves, and walking patterns. For me the biggest challenge is making sure that the beauty we display in real life is well represented on the screen.”

As the fashion industry continues to navigate life in the coming months and digital shows potentially become more common, Anifa is paving the way for true innovation and change.

She challenges other young designers to “carve out time to discover their voice before sharing it with the world. Creating is fun and we all love to do it, but the real work is in identifying who you want to be in this industry and whether or not your collections speak to that.”

Unlike brands who use full-figured models on the runway, but don’t sell a variety of plus-sized clothing, Hanifa’s offerings truly reflect what is seen on the 3D models. Teen Vogue

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