First Nations Designers Take Center Stage at Australian Fashion Week with David Jones Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway

The Indigenous Fashion Projects runway returns in 2024 for its fourth consecutive year at Australian Fashion Week. This year’s showcase promises to highlight the exceptional creativity and artistic talent of First Nations designers, brands, and labels. Celebrating the rich cultural heritage and distinct voices of these designers, the event will take place on Gadigal country.

Celebrating Diverse Designs and Talent

The runway will feature a stellar lineup of First Nations designers and brands, including men’s swimwear label GALI Swimwear, women’s swimwear brand Ihraa Swim, ready-to-wear menswear label JOSEPH & JAMES, lingerie favorite Lazy Girl Lingerie, and art and lifestyle brand Miimi & Jiinda. Each of these designers brings a unique perspective and aesthetic rooted in Indigenous culture, creating an inspiring showcase of design innovation.

Two Exciting Runway Shows

For the first time, the Indigenous Fashion Projects runway will host not one but two runway shows. The program aims to provide each designer with the opportunity to present their collections at an industry-only event, followed by a runway show open to the general public. This dual-event format ensures maximum exposure and recognition for the participating designers.

Empowering First Nations Designers

The Indigenous Fashion Projects (IFP) runway is part of the IFP Pathways Program for 2024, which is a two-year fashion label development initiative in partnership with David Jones. The program focuses on empowering and supporting the growth of First Nations designers through workshops, mentorships, and collaboration with established Australian designers.

Impact and Legacy of the IFP Pathways Program

Since its inception in 2020 by the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF) Foundation, the IFP Pathways Program has played a crucial role in fostering the success of emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designers. Many program participants have gained significant industry recognition, with previous participants showcasing their work on major fashion runways and magazine covers.

Building an Inclusive Fashion Industry

David Jones general manager of womenswear, footwear, and accessories, Bridget Veals, emphasizes the importance of the IFP Pathways Program in promoting a fashion industry that is more inclusive and representative of First Nations design, culture, and storytelling. The partnership between David Jones and the DAAF Foundation has been instrumental in providing guidance and mentorship to First Nations designers.

Excitement Builds for the 2024 Showcase

As the event approaches, excitement surrounding the Indigenous Fashion Projects runway continues to grow. Designers are diligently preparing their collections for the runway, and attendees are encouraged to secure their tickets in advance to witness this extraordinary celebration of First Nations fashion.

The 2024 IFP Pathways Program participants’ second showcase will take place during Australian Fashion Week on Thursday, May 16, in Gallery I at Carriageworks. The event will feature an invitation-only runway at 7:00 pm, followed by a public event at 8:30 pm AEST, presented by Pandora. Be sure not to miss this dynamic showcase of First Nations design talent as these trailblazing designers make their mark on the global fashion stage.

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