No models, just garments walking the runway. That is how Congolese fashion designer Anifa Mvuemba envisions the future of runway shows.

Her latest collection under her brand Hanifa, The Pink Label, has been worn in an online show by three-dimensional bodies. It is as if they were floating in midair, but not in a ghostly way.


Anifa Mvuemba (Photo from @hanifaofficial)

The designer learned to use this kind of technology by watching video tutorials on Youtube, and applied 3D mockups on her sample making.

“Designing content using 3D models and now an entire collection has been a complete gamechanger for me,” she tells Teen Vogue. “It actually requires an even greater amount of attention-to-detail for the clothes to fit and look just right.”


Established in 2012, Hanifa, as described by the designer, is limitless, feminine, and innovative. The brand is more than just the clothes – it is about the women wearing them. While Anifa is expanding her brand, her pieces have already been worn by Hollywood celebrities such as Kendall Jenner, Lizzo, and Cardi B.

For this collection, the designer’s deep love for her country is the main driving force that led her creative process. Inspired by Congo, she has reflected its colors in her work.


Kinshasha backless mini dress (Photo from Hanifa)

The Pink Label Congo features pleated pieces, bold ruffles, asymmetrical cuts in summery hues, and landscape prints. The designer pointed out a few pieces like the Kinshasha backless mini dress that has the colors of her country’s flag — red for pain and blood, blue for peace, and yellow for hope. Another is the Mài maxi dress inspired by the Congo River. For her, the dress “embodies the gentle confidence of a Congolese woman.”


Mài maxi dress (Photo from @hanifaofficial)

The 29-year-old designer dedicates her collection to the seamstresses of Africa. “I am so intentional about everything I do with this collection,” she says. “If you’re African, you know about African seamstresses, and how detail is so important and the color is so important and prints are so important. I wanted to use these in this collection as a tribute to African seamstresses out there and not just the Congolese ones.”


African seamstress (Photo from @hanifaofficial)


Even before the pandemic, Anifa wanted to do a show that merged her designs and technology for a deeper meaning.

According to her, Congo supplies 60 to 70 percent of the world’s cobalt. Used for electronics, the mineral is illegally mined in her country and sold in the underground market. To make matters worse, obtaining the mineral involves child labor and the sexual abuse of women.


The Pink Label Congo collection

“Growing up, I heard so many stories about the cobalt and mining issues in Congo,” the designer says. “A lot of times, there are children at these mines. A lot of them are losing their lives, and a lot of families are affected.”

Through her digital show, Anifa wants to bring light to this issue, and to show that her country is more than what people can unearth from its soil.

“Great things come out of Congo,” she says. “We’re not just a country that’s just going through it and you just hear about the rebels. I really want the Congolese to feel empowered. I want to shed light on their conditions. I want this collection to support and benefit the affected families.”

You can watch The Pink Label Congo 3D runway show at @hanifaofficial.

Source: Manila Bulletin (