Straight off the heels of debuting their first shoe collection, Hanifa held their first-ever in-person show in Washington D.C. on November 16th. Showing at The National Portrait Gallery, founder and designer Anifa Mvuemba forgoed the traditional route of presenting in New York during Fashion Week.

In choosing the American capital (where she is based), the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund recipient paid homage to her heritage—her family came to the city after migrating from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Much of what Mvuemba creates is tied to her background, as seen in the introduction video before the show started. The video gave a glance back into her start in 2011 as well as her viral 3-D fashion show during the pandemic.

The inside of the National Portrait Gallery was transformed into a tropical oasis, with water and palm trees lining the catwalk. The orchestra played renditions of "Pink + White" by Frank Ocean, "Laugh Now, Cry Later" by Drake and "Sweet Dreams" by Beyoncé.

Naming the collection "Dream," 35 looks feature Mvuemba's signature wearable yet striking looks. A rosy pink knit column dress, structured leather trench in patent sapphire blue and noir, grassy green leather shirt-dress, crimson red suit, pin-stripe blazer dress, and many more are paired with the brand's new footwear. Perhaps the most stand-out part of the runway was the range and sizing of the models; the construction and tailoring of the looks fit the women to perfection.

Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss, Edvin Thompson of Theophilio, Antoine Gregory of Black Fashion Fair, and the cast of Real Housewives of Potomac showed up to support. But a majority of the crowd was a diverse group of local friends and fans of the Hanifa brand—all decked out in Hanifa's previous collection. No doubt, they will all make sure to get their hands on the newest collection when select pieces go live this Friday.

Photos via Getty/Shannon Finney

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