AFC | Indigenous Fashion Update

AFC | Indigenous Fashion Update

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The recent Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF) and From Country to Couture runway held in August this year has once again highlighted the incredible talent of our Indigenous designers and artists, along with the broader impact that opportunities in the Fashion industry can have for Indigenous communities. The event also saw the announcement of an exciting Industry initiative moving ahead in this space; The Inaugural National Aboriginal Fashion Awards to be launched in Darwin next year.

 “The ‘From Country to Couture’ Runway is so unique and critical for the Australian fashion industry and our indigenous designers. The event generates excitement amongst industry members, consumers, and the people in remote indigenous communities. The event provides a key platform for pathways into the fashion industry, empowering those involved to build sustainable businesses, generate income and support their communities, all the while enriching the Australian fashion landscape. A national Aboriginal fashion award is an amazing next step to celebrate this thriving industry.”
— David Giles-Kaye, CEO, Australian Fashion Council
Image | Via DAAFF by James Taylor, from the From Country to Couture runway, featuring designs by Maara Collective in collaboration with Bula’bula Aboriginal Art Centre

Image | Via DAAFF by James Taylor, from the From Country to Couture runway, featuring designs by Maara Collective in collaboration with Bula’bula Aboriginal Art Centre

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Supporting Indigenous Fashion on the Agenda for AFC and the Industry

 Australia's fashion industry generates $25 billion per year. There are growing opportunities to develop the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Indigenous fashion design, as well as the need to inform and support regional and remote community art and Art Centres. Many opportunities also exist to provide Indigenous artists and fashion designers with the training and skills to develop their art and products, and gain broader access to new markets.

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AFC & DAAFF | Developing an Industry Strategy

 The Australian Fashion Council (AFC) and the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (DAAFF) are working in partnership, supported by a working group of industry representatives, to create a strategic plan for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned and governed fashion business organisation.

 It will identify opportunities to support the sector, and pilot fashion projects that focus on ways to increase quality, expand reach, and ensure best practice in business and production for the Indigenous fashion sector and collaborators.

Image | Via DAAFF by James Taylor, from the From Country to Couture runway, featuring designs by Ngali in collaboration with Lindsay Malay

Image | Via DAAFF by James Taylor, from the From Country to Couture runway, featuring designs by Ngali in collaboration with Lindsay Malay

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Broad Consultation | The Workshop Series

As part of this strategy development, AFC and DAAFF are hosting a series of workshops to investigate the current landscape of the global First Nations fashion industry, and deeply consult with remote community Art Centres, Indigenous designers, and Australian fashion industry stakeholders.

The first of these workshops was held in Darwin shortly after the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair this August. A collection of fashion designers, artists and industry stakeholders from across Australia were invited to the session to talk about the future of Indigenous fashion and textile design.

Set to be repeated in other cities around Australia, the next workshops will be planned for Sydney and Melbourne in upcoming months to allow broad consultation as we work together to support growth in the Indigenous Fashion space.

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About The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation

The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (DAAFF) is a not-for-profit, Indigenous corporation, owned by a membership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centres. It’s signature event, the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair is referred to as the “Art Basel of Australian Indigenous art” and is internationally recognised as the most prestigious Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art fair. DAAFF is also proud to present “From Country to Couture”, which is an exciting runway show that celebrate the marriage of contemporary fine art with high end fashion. The Indigenous art sector has recognised DAAFF as a key organisation to drive the development of Indigenous fashion on behalf of remote community Art Centres.

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More to Come

Stay tuned for updates in this space, and take a look at the DAAF From Country to Couture Runway coverage below, featuring work by;

Lisa Waup (Baluk Arts) & VERNER

Design Within Country and Marnin Studio

Bima Wear and Clair Helen

Lindsay Malay from Warmun Art Centre & Ngali

Bula’bula Arts and Julie Shaw

Tangentyere Artists and Yarrenyty Arltere Artists

Tiwi Collective & North

Kaiela Arts & Wendy Crow

Yinjaa-Barni Art & Patricia Floyd

Anindilyakwa Arts & Aly de Groot

Gorman & Mangkaja Arts

Above | Via DAAF by images by James Taylor

Above | Via DAAF by images by James Taylor

Above | Via DAAF by images by Dylan Buckee