In anticipation of her very first live fashion show in Washington, D.C. at the National Portrait Gallery, Anifa Mvuemba, founder and designer of Hanifa and a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund recipient, is giving her loyal customers a blessing to hold them over. Yesterday, October 29, Hanifa is debuting its footwear collection which will mark Mvuemba’s first time transitioning into a new category. 

The new footwear collection premieres with two styles – the Zeta sandal ($369) and Zoe boot ($659) – which are available for purchase directly on Hanifa.co. Each style is handcrafted in sheepskin leather and described as the “perfect blend between minimalism and intricate shaping.” The Zeta Sandal is available in Pear, Marshmallow, and Smoken Paprika hues while the knee-high Zoe Boot is available for pre-order in Black and Bone shades. will be available in colors Pear, Marshmallow, and Smoked Paprika.

“To give my customers something so special is such an extraordinary feeling. This moment has been years in the making and the level of passion I’ve had designing footwear is truly amazing,” Mvuemba told ESSENCE about the launch of her footwear collection. “I plan on continuing to push myself and my imagination to create the ultimate Hanifa shopping experience. Creating for that bold, limitless woman who enjoys beautiful garments and now footwear is truly a dream come true. I wouldn’t want it any other way.” 

The concept behind both the Zoe boots and Zeta sandals has been years in the making, according to the designer. “Zoe boots are like my dream boots. I’m happy that I finally figured it out with my team. Zeta is just the perfect go-to sandal that goes with everything. That’s what I wanted – something unique to my brand,” she said. Mvuemba continued to share her thoughts on how to integrate these new weather-appropriate closet staples into your day-to-day wardrobe. “Zeta with a great pair of ankle-length trousers and a white button-up. I would wear Zoe with everything short because I want to show them off,” she advised.

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Mvuemba has always had a love and appreciation for shoes, but while she did try to take the Hanifa brand into the footwear direction, she admitted that they didn’t have the financial means to put it together. “This time around I wanted to make sure we were doing it right and we are doing it the best way possible,” she said confidently. Mvuemba described the footwear creative process as “definitely more challenging but fun” because she was able to play around with different materials and ideas that would ultimately result in the two pairs of shoes.

When it comes to plans for expansion, Mvuemba shared that while this is the launch of her footwear debut, the imagination train doesn’t stop there for the future of Hanifa’s designs. “I’m completing the story for my customer. We’ve done a good job with apparel. Now is a good time to launch footwear. Continue to create looks for our customers and build their wardrobe. Eventually, Hanifa will be a one-shop top, we’ll have jewelry and handbags and other items,” she shared excitedly.

Earlier this summer, Hanifa dropped their ‘Capsule III’ collection dedicated to the curves and femininity of the female body.  The six-piece collection included eye-catching shades of oranges, soft lilacs, notes of vanilla, and pops of teal and green specially chosen to cater to the range of melanated skin tones and the versatility of Black women. Though her Hanifa brand has been operating since 2012, Mvuemba gained virality in 2020 for her innovative 3D fashion show and has since been featured in the hands and on the bodies of fashion icons including Tracee Ellis Ross, Mary J. Blige, and Gabrielle Union.

Her Washington, D.C. fashion show will not only mark the 10-year anniversary of posting her very first dress on Instagram on November 16, 2011, but it will also mark the luxury brand owner’s 31st birthday. As reported by WWD, the fashion show will debut 25 looks from her fall collection and will be available immediately for purchase following the show. Furthermore, she will be using the $50,000 prize money from the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund to finance her runway show which will feature models of all shapes, sizes, and shades – a true representation of what the fashion industry should look like.

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