When it comes to trends, whether in beauty or fashion, Black women have always been the blueprint. We’ve created and worn styles worthy of runways far before we ever gained access to them. Black woman designers are continuing to set the tone for what’s fashionable while centering their cultures and identities. And, increased access via their social media channels, is helping to establish a diverse yet loyal community of followers. These designers in particular are reminding us of our power by creating collections that celebrate our bodies and reflect our souls.
Anifa Mvuemba of Hanifa Official shocked the industry with her 3D digital fashion show. It featured colorless models whose movements mirrored that of real women. Delivering her Pink Label Congo collection in this way set a precedent in the fashion industry during a time when brands were cancelling shows as a result of COVID. Mvuemba expressed that she’d already been working with 3D models in her mockups requiring a level of attention-to-detail that translated beautifully on the digital runway. Each piece was a nod to her home of Congo and all of the African designers that paved the way.
Creativity is at an all time high. An excess of time has caused us to dive deeper into our cultures, stand taller in our social justice stances and develop opportunities where we can explore both. Fisaya Longe uses clothing design to empower women. By celebrating their multidimensionality, Longe aims to boost confidence with pieces that are luxurious and attainable. Her latest collection of Gaia dresses, mesh in material, long and sleek in construction capture femininity in a way that’s strong and stylish.
In embracing our own styles, we’ve learned that fashion and self-expression go hand-in-hand. What better way to express ourselves? And, what better way to treat ourselves with pieces that we may not wear now, but will still love and will cherish forever? Michelle Adepoju captures timeless style and femininity into must-have pieces. Through her collection called Kilentar, Adepoju blends sustainability with high quality to create statement pieces to last a lifetime. Victorian influence reigns true in this Nigerian designer’s work which has been showcased by women of all skin tones and shapes.
Each of these designers collections’ feature a range of sizes larger than that of most mainstream competitors. They capture the bold, bright colors of their cultures creating a demand for original designs that look and feel custom. Clothing design is art in one of its rawest forms developing out of ideas and sketches. All of that passion and ingenuity can be seen and appreciated in the work of Mvuemba, Longe & Adepoju.