Anifa Mvuemba, a Congolese designer on May 22 gave a preview of a game changing fashion show. Amidst the COVID-19 crises that has left fashion power houses distressed, the fashion designer and Hanifa founder debuted a 3D fashion show that can reset the future of runway shows.
Mvuemba presented her Pink Label Congo Collection on Instagram live Friday evening. The digital show staged a virtual runway, with outfits from the collection arranged on 3D (three dimensional) bodies. Although not initially planned, according to the designer in an interview with Teen Vogue she said she had plans to go digital long before the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the crises almost delayed the presentation.
“The thought of the runway struck five years ago but with no knowledge in technology it was halted”
“Designing content using 3D models and now an entire collection has been a complete game changer for me. It actually requires an even greater amount of attention-to-detail for clothed to fit and look just right”
“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” That is, until she realized the timing couldn’t be better.
Hard to believe but the self-taught designer learnt everything she needed to know about 3D designing and launching a clothing brand from Google and YouTube.
“There’s so much information out there. I google everything. I learnt how to sew from Google. I’m just the type of person that when I want to learn how to do something, I’m going to learn it even if that means I have to be up 24 hours for weeks straight” to ELLE
On completing the Pink label Congo Collection and studying 3D design software, the designer 3D models instead of actual models to give a tase of the brands impending projects.
The Pink Label Congo Collection
The collection consisting of eight (8) garment single handedly hit cultural reset on the fashion industry – replacing highly profile venues and at the same tie cutting down cost.
The collection represents Congo, the Central African Country – Mvuemba’s birthplace. One noticeable design from the collection was the “Kinashasa Dress’” a long pleated mini dress with the color: red, blue and yellow which represents the powerful evocative country flag (Congo).
“The red represents the pain and the blood and the suffering of the country. The blue represents peace and the yellow star represents the hope of the country” she explains.
Other designs included the “Mai maxi dress” and mini skirt, a landscape-inspired print meant to raise awareness on the dangers of cobalt mining especially on children.
It can be recalled that in 2019 tech giants like Apple, Google, Dell and Telsa were sued for their alleged involvement in the use of children for cobalt mining in the country.
“Growing up I heard so many stories about Cobalt and mining issues in Congo, a lot of them losing their lives and a lot of families affected” to CNN, while a 14 mins documentary, highlighting the present mining conditions in Congo preceded.
Mvuemba also talked about the strong black women she’s surrounded with and how the “Zaire Denim Set” represents “Poise” of the Congolese women.
“All the women that I knew growing up, including my mom, were just so poised and strong. I’ve always known every auntie, every grandma, every woman that I encountered growing up to carry herself in this graceful manner and wanted Zaire to embody that strength”
The Collection receive a lot of praise of viewers on twitter and On Instagram App with one viewer saying
The collection also featured the Pink Label Congo Collete T-shirt in partnership with the Responsible Sourcing Network 20 % of the proceeds will support Congolese families against illegal cobalt mining in Congo.
Shop the full Hanifa Pink Label Congo Collection here.