Kimberley Fashion Takes Center Stage at KAFTA Runway

Kimberley Fashion Takes Center Stage at KAFTA Runway

The Kimberley Aboriginal Fashion Textiles Art (KAFTA) runway show recently returned for a triumphant second year, dazzling audiences in Broome, Western Australia. Originally launched in 2022 as part of the Broome Fringe Festival, KAFTA has quickly become a major fashion event, celebrating the region’s vibrant Indigenous creative scene. Kimberley Fashion Takes Center Stage at KAFTA Runway

Kimberley Fashion Takes Center Stage at KAFTA Runway

A Platform for Local Talent

Kimberley Fashion Takes Center Stage at KAFTA Runway

Born from a desire to nurture local creative pathways, KAFTA provides a platform for Kimberley designers, artists, and young people to showcase their talents. Held alongside industry workshops and a pop-up market, the event offers a holistic experience for both aspiring and established creatives. This year’s runway, held on June 2nd, was a stunning display of Kimberley fashion under the iconic Broome Town Beach sunset.

Celebrating Cultural Identity

The KAFTA runway featured established names like Bianca Long, Marnin Studio, Ardi’ol, and Jalayimiya Swim, alongside a host of emerging designers. Each piece showcased the unique blend of Kimberley culture and contemporary design sensibilities. “[KAFTA] has such a great impact on our community,” shared Brodie George, founder of Jalayimiya Swim and a proud First Nations designer. “This event will definitely be a highlight of the year.”

Beyond the Runway

KAFTA’s impact extends beyond the runway. The event integrates cultural performances, like those by the Broome-based dance group Burrb Wanggarraju, further enriching the experience. This year’s program featured dancers adorned in Nagula Jarndu’s new wedding collection, adding another layer of cultural significance.

Empowering Regional Creatives

KAFTA addresses a crucial need for regional artists. Many Indigenous art centers previously had to travel vast distances to showcase their work. KAFTA provides a platform close to home, fostering confidence and regional recognition. The event also prioritizes cultural safety and professional development for its participants.

A Celebration of Community

Since its inception, KAFTA has presented 13 clothing collections, featuring the work of over 50 artists, engaging nearly 80 young Indigenous models and performers. Notably, the entire event is run by a Kimberley team, supporting local businesses and fostering a strong sense of community ownership.

A Look to the Future

The 2024 KAFTA runway was a resounding success, with high demand and enthusiastic participation from young people, artists, and community organizations. The event’s focus on inclusivity ensures a safe and supportive environment that celebrates the rich tapestry of Kimberley culture and identity. Look out for KAFTA’s continued growth, empowering regional creatives and showcasing the unique blend of Kimberley fashion to the world.

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