How Fashion Designer, Hanifa used Technology to Go Viral during the Pandemic

How Fashion Designer, Hanifa used Technology to Go Viral during the Pandemic

July 30, 2020 0 By Stephen Callahan

One of the hardest-hit industry’s during this COVID 19 pandemic is in the fashion design.

It is no secret that people may not be meeting in public spaces, but they are definitely meeting online. The internet is a buzz of activities.

Fashion designers are not left behind, they have resorted to videos, to show their collection instead of the usual pomp and glamour experience on the runway. But how effective is the digital space and will it really deliver?

Well-known fashion designer Hanifa Mvuemba was not deterred by the pandemic. She debuted her collection Pink Label Congo using a digital avatar called Imani in the virtual space, and the result was astounding.

Digital Avatar – Imani

Imani the Avatar is 3 Dimensional, curvy and without any form, that gives the effect of a ghost, this technology is what Ms Mvuemba used.

Imani gracefully displays Ms Mvuemba’s garments on the digital space in a manner that brings out the African theme, technique and tradition that have been used on each garment. Hanifa admits that she first used Imani when the pandemic started.

When the pandemic started, everyone was online. Hanifa took advantage of this online surge and used the model Imani a digital avatar to debut her collection on the virtual platform.

She knew the time was right for her to proceed with tis idea though she had earlier plans of a fashion week in New York in September.

The success of Hanifa’s Collection and Imani the Avatar

The May 2020 digital show was more than successful and technology proved to be more efficient and effective.

Only 10 minutes of live streaming and orders exceeded the expectation of Hanifa. After 10 minutes of live streaming, a record order of 500 units per garment was made. This was far beyond the initial orders of 100 to 200 units per garment in the usual situation. In Hanifa’s show for May 2020, only five looks were featured despite the great success. The Avatar was definitely a game-changer.

Hanifa’s First Orders

After starting her brand called “Hanifa” which is Arabic for “true believer”, she received her first orders and technology was key in this. Her order came through text messages, Instagram, direct messages and even word of mouth. Hanifa continued to use online platforms to sell her collection and do business.

The Beginning of Hanifa’s Journey in Fashion, Design

Hanifa Mvuemba, who is the founder of “Hanifa” is now 29 years old and based in Maryland but originally from Congo. Hanifa was founded in 2011. She made her first dress on her 21st birthday, and again technology came through for her.

After posting it on Instagram, her journey with fashion design and technology began. Her mother and great supporter encouraged her to keep going. Hanifa admits that she has taught herself most of her designing work, and at some point, she did all the sewing by herself.

She got a friend to help her out so she could cope with the workload and she had to teach her friend how to sew.

Hanifa Virtual Show Celebrated

Hanifa’s success in the fashion business has indeed been a long one but a rewarding one never the less. Hanifa was recently celebrated by Harper’s Baazar of CNN and Essence who recognized her virtual show.

It all happened after Forbes failed to recognize Hanifa in a related story that they had published earlier. However, this did not go unnoticed by Hanifa, her fans and the public.

There was a public outcry on social media that made Hanifa a bit nervous but yielded results. Forbes amended the article and deleted it acknowledging Hanifa Mvemba as the first to host a successful 3-D show in the virtual space. This brings the power of technology as the game-changer again not just in fashion design but in almost every aspect of life.