Anifa Mvuemba, founder and creative director of Hanifa, shared images on Twitter showing two side-by-side images that sparked comments immediately.
According to AfroTech, the Hanifa “Jax Knit Gown” design was allegedly stolen by an unnamed fashion retailer who commenters called out to be the hugely popular Fashion Nova. The design was from Mvuemba’s FW 21 Runway collection.
Mvuemba is a Black female business owner from Washington, D.C., who has built her brand on her own terms. Loyal consumers have gravitated to her brand over the past decade, praising her bold and innovative aesthetic through her designs and runway presentations.
Next to Fashion Nova, Mvuemba is a small business owner, and Hanifa customers were upset about the incident and called out Fashion Nova and demanded they make it right.
Fashionista reports that the questionable Fashion Nova Sahara Sweater Maxi Dress was a similar silhouette priced at $49.99, a significant price difference from the $459 Hanifa original.
Mvuemba shared her frustration through Twitter saying, “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.”
Supporters of the Hanifa brand immediately assembled through social media to call out the Fashion Nova brand for allegedly stealing the design.
They call it fast-fashion for a reason. Just as quickly as the Hanifa design was “stolen,” it was quick just as quickly removed the fashion from its site. However, Fashion Nova has not publicly addressed the accusation.
The support for Mvuemba’s Hanifa brand grew rapidly as reports show the tweet had 21.9K retweets and 3,202 quote tweets at the time of press.
The Los Angeles fast-fashion giant has reportedly been called out before for copying designs from other independent Black-owned brands like designer Jai Nice of Kloset Envy in 2018 and Luci Wilden of Knots and Vibes in 2019.
According to Fashionista, the original “Jax Knit Gown” dress is currently sold out on the Hanifa website.