Black designers’ work is being stolen from day by day. On Aug. 29, Hanifa’s Anifa Mvuemba came forward with her own story.
In a tweet, the founder and fashion designer voiced her frustration since one of her designs being stolen.
“Only because this sample took me monthssss to perfect,” she wrote. “This is actually crazy. I’m not going to tag or mention them. But this is crazy.”
Only because this sample took me monthssss to perfect. This is actually crazy. I’m not going to tag or mention them. But this is crazy. pic.twitter.com/GDZQg6vTBK
— + (@AnifaM) August 29, 2022
Hanifa's Ripped Off Design
Named the “Jax Knit Gown” on Hanifa’s website, the dress was a part of her FW 21 Runway collection.
“This Fall collection is a direct embodiment of the past, present and future of Hanifa,” the website writes. “It distinctly marks the evolution of the Hanifa brand and where we’re headed. Our growth, signature look and innovation has earned us a place in so many people’s hearts and homes. This collection is something that Anifa Mvuemba has been dreaming of for a long time, and is a testament to her hard work but also a realization that dreams really do come true.”
The Alleged Culprit
Now, Mvuemba’s “intentional craftsmanship” has been a target of fast fashion. Although she didn’t tag the company, her supporters went on to do so for her. It appears that Fashion Nova is behind snatching the design. In addition to the clothing company, a Twitter user shared a photo of not only the Jax Knit Gown’s design but also her popular “Soraya Maxi” dress — which was featured in Hanifa’s Capsule Drop II collection — in a Lenox Mall store in Atlanta, GA.
this is in Lenox right now in atlanta, georgia…. pic.twitter.com/mPEXw4cLcj
— TEE JAÉ. (@tarynterintino) August 29, 2022
Fast Fashion v. Consumers
This isn’t Fashion Nova’s first instance of allegedly taking from Black designers as they’ve been called out numerous times in the past. The outrage on Twitter around Mvuemba’s work being ripped off sparked a debate.
“It’s pathetic because they actually are getting away with it,” one Twitter user wrote. “And society is supporting it by continuously buying from them not realizing that 90% of the stuff they’re buying are stolen concepts from smaller entities like OP. It’s a disgrace.”
It’s pathetic because they actually are getting away with it. And society is supporting it by continuously buying from them not realizing that 90% of the stuff they’re buying are stolen concepts from smaller entities like OP. it’s a disgrace :/
— G (@ginarakouklara) August 29, 2022