Indigenous Australian culture has permeated the fashion world for a while now. Just mention the words “Samantha Harris”, or Google “Rodarte Aboriginal dress”. Indigenous fashion designers don’t spring to mind quite so readily, but that’s about to change.
The inaugural Australian Indigenous Fashion Week will take place around the same time as the international Spring shows kick off in September. The brainchild of Sydney’s indigenous-owned marketing and events company All The Perks, it aims to bring together Aboriginal Australian designers with major fashion brands and showcase them to buyers. What’s on show won’t be limited to the sartorial either, with plans to feature displays for indigenous-designed jewellery, accessories, and even furniture.
The venture should be well received by Aboriginal Australian designers looking to push their wares into the line of sight of buyers, and marks a further step in the right direction for the local fashion industry. Earlier this year Vibe Australia launched the NAIDOC Week Fashion Show in Hyde Park, where indigenous fashion designers could have their collections exposed to both industry and public on the natural catwalk of grass and sand.
Here’s hoping for more show reviews unsullied by the words “ethnic” or “tribal”.