Supporting black-owned brands has always been important to me. I love a very diverse group of brands. But black-owned brands hold a special place in my heart. It’s another black woman or man creating something unique. What’s not to support?
As a black business owner, I don’t always get the support I need or want. But that doesn’t deter me from supporting other black businesses. Maybe, just maybe that person will, in turn, help another black-owned business. Because I took the time and effort to support them. I know you shouldn’t do anything expecting something in return. But I’m hopeful that one small act on my part will create a ripple effect.
It may take me driving to the other end of Brooklyn to the only black-owned fruits and vegetable store I know. Or scouring the internet for weeks looking for a black-owned beauty company that offers sunscreen that doesn’t change the color of my skin. But I will always find a way to support.
Over the next few days, we will be sharing the black-owned brands that we adore.
Fashion has always been a large part of my life for as long as I can remember. I started by getting dressed in my mom’s clothing to designing my own. I believe if I were just a bit bolder, I would start a fashion blog. But, since I’m not that bold and we’ve never featured a Fashion brand on the site before. I believe it’s the perfect place to start.
From humble beginnings to breaking the internet last month, I present Hanifa.
I found this brand on Instagram when my girl CC (Ciara) sported a gorgeously fitting, vibrant red pant in 2017. While my body is nothing like CC’s—I figured I could still pull in off, and that started my relationship with Hanifa.
Hanifa (The brand)
Launched in 2012 after the almost 21-year-old designer posted a picture on Instagram of a birthday dress she made herself. This contemporary indie brand caters to curvier bodies. The brand focuses on comfort, bold colors that complement the varying complexion of the black woman, and designs that fit our varied proportioned bodies perfectly. The brand started by making customs pieces for friends and family and later launched several capsule collections. Hanifa is for the black woman’s body in an industry where it is often underrepresented and all while creating a space for young Black women.
Hanifa Clothing was founded by Anifa Mvuemba. The Arabic name pronounced Ha-née-fah and means truth was the inspiration for the brand’s name. The perfect inspiration. Originally from Congo, the 21 years old saw a unique opportunity after dropping out of a fashion program at Morgan State University and took advantage of it.
Like every other clothing brand being innovative in our new normal is essential to business as usual. And Hanifa did just that when she debut her most recent collection on May 22, 2020. Pink Label Congo via 3D renderings was presented live on Instagram how fitting since Instagram is the place where Hanifa was first introduced.
The Democratic Republic of Congo inspired the collection.
Riddled with a painful history, the beauty of Congo is often untapped and overlooked. The gentleness, beauty, history, poise, majesty, strength, power, and hope of the Congolese spirit inspired this collection. When creating each piece, I was reminded of the stories my mother told me of the women she knew back home in Congo. Women who suffered great loss but still, mustered every ounce of strength every day to show up. My hope is that this collection inspires all women to stand tall in their power and like the Democratic Republic of Congo, to use their history, whether pretty or painful — to redesign their future. My country, the land of Congo, is ripe with an abundance of natural resources — the greatest of which are its people — its women.
The 3D fashion show started with a mini-documentary featuring clips of news articles about Coltan mines in Congo. It was an innovative experience, but most of all, an educational one. I didn’t know that Congo produces over 60% of the world’s Cobalt production. It was refreshing to see a designer using her platform not only to market a product but to educate us as well.
I hope you check out Hanifa and order something fabulous. Send us a pic by email or tag us on Instagram.
I have pre-ordered two new pieces I hope to wear this summer, and I’m excited to receive them.
As Always, Sending Love. Stay Safe.
Cheers to a fabulous Saturday