Source: Hanifa / Hanifa
Congratulations to Anifa Muvemba as the founder and CEO of the direct-to-consumer women’s apparel line Hanifa was presented with the Future of Fashion Award at last night’s InStyle Awards by none other than legendary shoe designer, Christian Louboutin. The entrepreneur accepted her award in a stunning purple gown that featured feathers around the bustline and trim which was, of course, a look from her own collection.
According to InStyle, it was Muvemba’s innovative Pink Label Congo collection virtual fashion show held on Instagram Live last September that made her a breakout sensation and the perfect recipient of this award, a feat said she figured out after her first New York Fashion Week show was canceled due to the pandemic. “[Throughout the pandemic] we saw losses and closures, and for me it was a survival moment,” the designer told InStyle of the innovative show. “When I woke up the next day, Instagram was going crazy, DMs were going crazy, sales were going crazy, and we were just like, ‘What is going on?’ It was so surreal.”
What’s surreal is that the designer has typically been considered an industry outsider, that is, until now. She established her clothing line in 2012 after dropping out of Maryland’s Morgan State University’s fashion merchandising program but actually shut it down a few years later three years and took on a few retail josb instead. “When I was working at Nordstrom, I could not get away from followers and former customers coming up to me and asking about [Hanifa]. I was like, ‘I’m trying to run away from this thing,’ ” she told the online publication. “I remember saying a prayer: ‘Lord, if this is what you want me to do, I’ll do it. But I’m not quitting again.’ I came back, and I’ve been running since.”
Now that she’s back and running, she’s been able to garner the attention of celebrities like Gabrielle Union, Naomi Campbell, and after last night, Christian Louboutin. But the designer says that for her, it’s all about designing to make women feel confident, because they know everybody is looking at them anyway. “I design to make women feel like they don’t have to say a word when they walk in the room because everyone’s looking anyway,” she said. “Every time I see someone wearing my designs, I love the confidence in how they walk, talk, and pose. That’s the Hanifa woman.”
Congratulations to this style maven!