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Hanifa Presents Pink Label Congo Collection On Instagram Live

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Hanifa Presents Pink Label Congo Collection On Instagram Live
Photo: Courtesy of Hanifa

This pandemic has left the fashion industry distressed. Powerhouses like J.Crew and Neiman Marcus are filing bankruptcy suits and summer menswear and couture shows have been “postponed.” Over the last few months, think pieces and extrinsic deep dives have been discharged along with the question, “Where is the fashion industry going?” Well, DMV designer Anifa Mvuemba answered that question yesterday. It’s going Black.

Mvuemba is founder of the luxury label Hanifa. Her clothes have been worn by Kelly Rowland, Ciara, and Vanessa Simmons to name a few. Since Covid-19, the designer has premiered 3D Models in replacement of real models to correlate with the time period we’re in. Due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing, this came as an innovative and safe way to showcase her pieces.

To take it up notch, Mvuemba presented her Pink Label Congo collection on Instagram live Friday evening through a digital experience. After a few technical difficulties, the show kicked off on the @hanifabridal channel. “We create for women without limitations, I found that the 3D world gave me a place to innovate,” Mvuemba tells ESSENCE. “It’s important to believe in yourself, love what you do, and let the passion inspire you.”

The show started with the designers speaking about her journey from Hanifa’s official launch in 2012. Mvuemba exclaimed how the brand has given her validation. “Growing up I always felt like an outcast. I always felt like I wanted to be “in” or be apart of something and I find that I actually have a voice in Hanifa. That’s what fueled the passion” she says. The designer goes on to explain how Africa stood as an influence for her latest project. “This is the right time to do a collection inspired by Congo. I’ve heard so many stories about the coltan and the mining issues.” Mvuemba expands on the controversy around the mining practices and how 60 -70% of the world’s source comes from this country. “I wanted this collection to support the families that were affected and the organizations that are doing the ground work,” she concludes.

Considering African fashion is eclectic, Mvuemba took those traditions and incorporated century long nuances within the continent like bold prints and bright colors into her collection. Sending pieces down the runway like the Kinshasa Backless Mini Dress that features the colors of the Congo flag or the Mái maxi dress and mini skirt that resembles the Congo skyline. “Every single color palette we used in this collection has meaning to it,” said Mvuemba. The collection also features the Pink Label Congo Colette T-Shirt in partnership with the Responsible Sourcing Network. 20% of this classic summer tee will support Congolese families against illegal Colton mining in the DRC.

Anifa Mvuemba has continued the conversation that black women can weather though any storm. While prominent designers have been scrambling to figure out ways in which to present their collection post Covid-19, Hanifa just set the bar. From the beginning of the pandemic the designer has been testing digital activations to coincide with our new normal. While many brands may follow suit, it’s important to note that a black woman did it first.

The Pink Label Congo Collection is available for purchase here.

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Fashion & Style

What You Can Do to Combat Racism

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The devastating current events—most recently the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor—are a much-needed wake-up call for many …

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Inside The New Economy Where People ‘Buy Nothing’ and Give Everything

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Lorie Gassie misses the library. Since the pandemic shut down her local branch, the Queens resident has a pile of overdue books in her apartment that she cannot return.

That’s what brought Gassie to my stoop last week. I met her on Facebook, where we are both members of a Buy Nothing group aimed to create a little gift economy among its roughly 1300 members.  

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Where To Buy The Best Second-Hand Designer Bags

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All products are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The pull of a designer bag is legendary. There have been totes we’ve yearned for more than our sixth form crush. It’s totally legitimate to fall in love with an inanimate object, right? But even if you’re not about to pledge allegiance to a handbag, you’ve got to admit there is magic in a designer bag in the way that clothes can’t quite incite.

If you’re searching for a little something to treat yourself to, post lockdown (or even as something to make your house-bound hours more exciting) there’s nothing better than a new bag to beat the blues. Except it doesn’t have to be new. Resale sites are one of the fashion industry’s fastest growing categories and a second-hand bag is a brilliant way to save money. As we all try to shop more consciously, its also a brilliant way to shop sustainably. There is nothing more sustainable that something already in existence.

Some vintage bags are also proving to be safer investments than stocks and shares because bags are the accessory that appreciate fastest. Vintage preloved handbags have risen in value by an average of 8% per year over the last decade and also outperformed the price of gold. Kerching.

Despite those figures, if you’re looking to get involved with your favourite brand, preloved is still the way you can do so, at a bargain price. Designer bags play on the brand’s style signatures, which can make them easy to fake but on closer inspection you’ll be able to see what is real or not. Check the hardware, leather, stitching, authenticity cards and serial numbers and ask the seller to provide more pictures or more detailed history.

Charlotte Staerck is co-founder and retail director of Handbag Clinic, which restores worn bags (everything from styles chewed by dogs or burned in fires) and also runs a resale platform. She advises, “Ask the year they bought their handbag and check the digits in the serial number correspond to the production year.

If it’s outside of that, it’s definitely a fake. The hardware colour should match the logo colour on the inside of the handbag. Also, quilted Chanel handbags have 10 stitches per inch. It can sometimes be ever so slightly outside of that, but never by much, so if you count seven stitches, you know it’s not authentic.”

These are our favourite sites to browse designer bag bargains:

vestiairecollective.com – The biggest hitter in the preloved market with thousands of new items listed every week. Charlie Collins, founder of creativewardrobe.co.uk has tips to get the best bargains, “Use the app to set up an alert on your favourite bag and try the offer system to float up to 30% off with the seller. The longer items are on the site, the more you will benefit from reductions so create a wishlist to track your favourite items.”

VC arrange pick ups and anonymous listings for the French Vogue team, apparently, and offer thorough authentication services before your purchases are sent to you.

handbagclinic.co.uk – All of the bags here will have had a vigorous zhuzh at the in-house restoration clinic before going on sale to ensure they completely pristine. You could find bargains with up to 83% off. Charlotte Staerck also revealed that the original Prada Nylon bags are in demand. “We sell vintage 90’s small nylon Prada bags for around £150 – £350.” We’ll race you…

xupes.com – Founded almost a decade ago, and originally specialising in watches and jewellery, xupes.com have been selling bags since 2015 and date them all to the year of manufacture. At the time of writing there was a denim Dior saddle bag on the site for £299…

farfetch.com – As well as collating the coolest independent boutiques around the world, FarFetch.com also launched a resale channel last year, where verified designer bags from a handful of major names are up for sale online. Sellers get store credit and you get to save a bag from landfill. Win win.

bagista.co.uk – Specialising in designer bags, this is the site to browse if you’re a bargain bagaholic. In season finds are listed with their current selling price point, so you can see how much of a discount you could score.

uk.designerexchange.com – With discounts of up to 85% this site has over 100 designer brands and more than 5000 items for sale but they also have bricks and mortar stores around the UK (although currently closed die to Covid-19) which you can visit for an IRL encounter with any potential purchase.

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