Banner Image: Cindy Rostron wears ‘A Beautiful Chaos’ collection by Kylie Caldwell in collaboration with Spell, photo by Marley Morgan
Announcing the Nominee SHORTLIST for the National Indigenous Fashion Awards
Returning for the fourth year, we’re thrilled to now share with you the NIFA 2023 Nominee shortlist, with a record 66 nominees!
Fashion Designer Award
Supported by Country Road
Since 2020, Country Road has been the proud presenter of the NIFA Fashion Designer Award, recognising an individual designer of original fashion apparel who has excelled both creatively and commercially.
The winner will receive a 12-month business mentorship with Country Road, tailored to their needs and focus areas. The program is designed to cover areas such as marketing, product development, sales, finance and sustainability, supporting the winner to further build their business and career. The mentorship can be delivered in person and online, with Country Road supporting travel expenses up to $5,000.
Images courtesy of the nominees: 1) Dusty Opal Dreaming Collection by Carmen Jackson Art. 2) Lazy Girl Lingerie, ETHEREAL Editorial, photo by Daphne Sky Studios. 3) Cheryl Creed, Murrii Quu Couture, Model @sammieta4, Photo by @biancakarena_mua. 4) Debbie King wearing Black Pride, Owner & Founder of Koori Threads. 5) Model Gia Paraz wearing Eco Dyed Raffia, Found Coral Sea Plant, Debra Beale, B-Original. 6) Yugilla Swan wearing Nungala Creative, by Jessica Johnson. 7) Cindy Rostron wears pieces from the A Beautiful Chaos collection by Kylie Caldwell in collaboration with Spell, photo by Marley Morgan. 8) Models wearing Lillardia Briggs-Houston, Future History Runway by Mob in Fashion, photo by Marley Morgan. 9) Numus Designs by Naomy Briston, Country to Couture 2021, photo by Dylan Buckee. 10) Paul McCann, courtesy of Vogue Australia.
Wearable Art Award
Supported by Robina Town Centre
Recognising an individual designer for the creation of a single (not a collection) worn item of clothing, accessory or piece of jewellery that demonstrates excellence in design, craft, artistry, construction, wearability and cultural expression.
The winning artist will receive a $5,000 cash prize from Robina Town Centre.
- Cassie Leatham, Wild Blak Arts, The River Reed Dress
- Debra Beale, B-Original, ‘Eco Dyed Raffia, Found Coral Sea plant earrings and Necklace set’
- Jessica Hunter, KIYA, Cycloid Weave Pattern Boot
- Jessica Johnson, Nungala Creative, Custom jacket for Jessica Mauboy for Sydney World Pride 2023
- Kristy Dickinson, Haus of Dizzy, Sea Glass ‘Woman’ Heart Hoop Earrings
- Lillardia Briggs-Houston, Coolamon Dress
- Milari Barker, Membrane, SKINSHIP Body Piece
- Naomy Briston, Numus Designs, Dilly bag dreaming
- Narelle Osborne, Yungkuuli (Black Swan)
- Paul McCann, Coronation Gown
- Rhonda Sharpe, Yarrenyty Arltere Artists, Dillybag
Images courtesy of the nominees: 1) The River Reed Dress, Cassie Leatham, Wild Blak Arts. 2) Eco Dyed Raffia, Found Coral Sea plant earrings and Necklace set, Debra Beale, B-Original. 3) Cycloid Weave Pattern Boot by Jessica Hunter, KIYA. 4) Custom jacket for Jessica Mauboy for Sydney World Pride 2023, by Jessica Johnson, Nungala Creative. 5) Sea Glass ‘Woman’ Heart Hoop Earrings, Kristy Dickinson, Haus of Dizzy, Model @sherryleewatson Photography @lazyfairr. 6) Coolamon dress, Lillardia Briggs-Houston. 7) SKINSHIP Body Piece, by Milari Barker, Membrane, photo by Jules Ferrini. 8) Dilly bag dreaming, by Naomy Briston, Numus Designs. 9) Dharug model Sienna Morris wears Yungkuuli (Black Swan) by Narelle Osborne. 10) Coronation Gown, Paul McCann. 11) Dillybag, By Rhonda Sharpe, Yarrenyty Arltere Artists.
Textile Design Award
Supported by RMIT
Recognising an individual designer of textiles, including woven, knitted or other textile constructions as well as dyed, printed or surface ornamented constructions.
The winner of the Textile Design Award will receive customised Textile Design Professional Development undertaken with globally recognised RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles, ranked among the Business of Fashion’s The Best Fashion Schools in the World. The prize is tailored to the winning artist’s requirements.
- Alison Napurrula Multa, Ikuntji Artists
- Carmen Jackson, Carmen Jackson Art
- Doreen Lane, Ikuntji Artists
- Edna Ambrym, Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct
- Hayley Dodd, Ikuntji Artists
- Jessica Johnson, Nungala Creative
- Karen Shuan, Yalanji Arts
- Kylie Caldwell
- Laurence Gibson, Yalanji Arts
- Lillardia Briggs-Houston
- Lorna Shuan, Yalanji Arts
- Naomy Briston, Numus Designs
- Pam Brown, Ikuntji Artists
- Patricia Marrfurra McTaggart, Merrepen Arts
- Philomena Yeatman, Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct
- Rhonda Sharpe, Yarrenyty Arltere Artists
- Roseranna Larry, Ikuntji Artists
- Rowena Morgan, Nagula Jarndu
- Vanessa Cannon, Yalanji Arts
- Virgillia Multa, Ikuntji Artists
- Walter Jugadai, Ikuntji Artists
Images courtesy of the nominees: 1) Alison Napurrula Multa’s design Kungkaku Puturru, light purple and orange on wine (tencel linen), Photo by Ikuntji Artists. 2) Wurran Goanna Dreaming Collection by Carmen Jackson Art. 3) Doreen Lane with her Bush Trip fabric, photo by Ikuntji Artists. 4) Paper Bark Design, by Edna Ambrym, Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct, Photo by Christina Bevilacqua. 5) Hayley Dodd’s design Dalhousie Hot Springs (detail), dark teal and silver on copper (silk), Photo by Ikuntji Artists. 6) Yugilla Swan wearing Nungala Creative, by Jessica Johnson. 7) Cassowary Design by Karen Shuan, Yalanji Arts. 8) Cindy Rostron wears pieces from the A Beautiful Chaos collection by Kylie Caldwell in collaboration with Spell, photo by Marley Morgan. 9) The Land and the Sea, Laurence Gibson, Yalanji Arts. 10) Boundaries textile by Lillardia Briggs-Houston. 11) Carpet Snake fabric, Lorna Shuan, Yalanji Arts. 12) Textile detail by Naomy Briston, Numus Designs. 13) Pam Brown, Ikuntji Artists. 14) Billbong fabric, by Patricia McTaggart, Merrepen Arts. 15) Yealamucka (healing) design by Philomena Yeatman, Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct, photo by Christina Bevilacqua. 16) Rhonda Sharpe, Yarrenyty Arltere Artists. 17) Roseranna Larry’s design, Wirliyajarrayi, plum and light purple on lemon (cotton). Photo by Ikuntji Artists. 18) Hill Country 4 colour linoprint on silk jumpsuit, Rowena Morgan, Nagula Jarndu Art Centre, Country to Couture, 2022, Michael Jalaru Torres. 19) Basket Weaving, by Vanessa Cannon, Yalanji Arts. 20) Ininti at Muruntji, Virgillia Multa, plum, cream and orange on wine (tencel linen), Photo by Ikuntji Artists. 21) Walter Jugadai’s design Shield and Star, gold and silver on red (silk), Photo by Ikuntji Artists.
Business Achievement Award
Supported by Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF) Foundation
Recognising leadership in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business, showing both creative and commercial success in textiles and fashion.
The winner of the Business Achievement Award will receive a $3,000 cash prize and customised business mentoring development. The mentoring will be designed and developed in support of the winner’s business goals and aims to enrich entrepreneurship and support fashion innovation.
Images courtesy of the nominees: 1) Birimbiri, Joongoon, Gorralgar (Bush Fruits) print, Magpie Goose, Photo by Michael Jalaru Torres. 2) Wurran Goanna Dreaming Collection by Carmen Jackson Art. 3) Lazy Girl Lingerie, ETHEREAL Editorial, photo by Daphne Sky Studios. 4) Rikki Mason wears Parra-Kiira Baaka by Jasmine Miikika Craciun, GALI Swimwear, Photo by Joshua Howlett. 5) Lisa Multa, Ikuntji Artists Director, holding up new fabrics outside Ikuntji Artists Art Centre. 6) Yugilla Swan wearing Nungala Creative, by Jessica Johnson. 7) Jackets modelled by Yindjibarndi artists and Juluwarlu team, Juluwarlu Art Group, 2023, Photos by James Evans, as part of project with Department of Local Government, Sports and Communities (DLGSC). 8) Sea Glass ‘Woman’ Heart Hoop Earrings, Kristy Dickinson, Haus of Dizzy, Model @sherryleewatson Photography @lazyfairr. 9) Mob In Fashion Industry Panel Discussion at Melbourne Fashion Festival, Photo by Joshua Howlett.
Community Collaboration Award
Supported by Canberra Centre
Celebrating effective and productive relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the textile and fashion industry, where First Nations Peoples’ agency in the collaboration process is front and centre.
The winners will receive a $10,000 cash prize to be split between each collaborator supported by Canberra Centre.
- Cassandra Pons, Lazy Girl Lingerie X Caleb Nichols-Mansell
- Gapuwiyak Culture & Arts X Aly de Groot
- Ikuntji Artists X MFPR
- Joyce Crombie X Jean Barr-Crombie, Red Ridge the Label
- Nathan McGuire, Mob in Fashion X Lillardia Briggs-Houston, Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, and Cassie Leatham
- Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct X Simone Arnol
Images courtesy of the nominees: 1) Cassandra Pons, Founder of Lazy Girl Lingerie. Photographer Captured Crimson. 2) Our first fashion show at Yalakun Homeland, Gapuwiyak Culture & Arts X Aly de Groot, 2022, Photo by Aly de Groot. 3) Cover of Vogue, May 2022 featuring four Indigenous models and designs including Elaine George wearing Alice Nampitjimpa Dixon of Ikuntji Artists. 4) Two Sisters Talking, Anpanuwa Joyce Crombie & Aulpunda Jean Barr Crombie, Joyce Crombie X Jean Barr-Crombie, Red Ridge the Label, photo by Lorraine Kath Photography. 5) Mob In Fashion Industry Panel Discussion at Melbourne Fashion Festival. Photo by Joshua Howlett. 6) 2022 Yarrabah Full Collection, Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct X Simone Arnol.
Traditional Adornment Award
Supported by NORTHERN TERRITORY GOVERNMENT
Recognising an individual or group for the design of Items that are created and worn to define or express culture. This award aims to encourage the creation and acknowledgement of traditional cultural regalia.
The winners will receive a cultural exchange opportunity of their design and choosing, to the value of $2,500.
Images courtesy of the nominees: 1) Possum skin vest decorated with ochre, possum wrist band with found native feathers, head dress made with stringy bark native found feathers, by Cassie Leatham, Yanggurdi. 2) Debra Beale, B-Original, Global Indigenous Fashion Runway 2023, My Spirit, My Country As part of PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival’s Cultural Program 2023. 3) Bull Kelp Leather Necklace, Emma Robertson, Emma Robertson Designs. 4) Fashion show on Country at Yalakun, Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts Artists, Photo by Linda Mitchell. 5) Hand Woven Draceana Top, by Jessica Hunter, KIYA, Photo by Marley Morgan. 6) Pippy choker necklace, Krystal Hurst, Gillawarra Arts, Photo by Craft ACT. 7) Emu Feather skirt and necklace, Madeline Hope-Hodgetts, Yapa Mali, Photo by Marley Morgan. 8) Dharug model Sienna Morris wears Kalthi Karlpuka Kira, by designer Narelle Osborne. 9) Alinta Carberry wears piece designed by Samala Cronin, Photo by Marley Morgan.
Congratulations to each of our incredible nominees!
Save the Date – 9 August 2023
We look forward to sharing their stories and celebrating in person at the NIFA ceremony on Larrakia Country! Join us for the winner announcements at the Deckchair Cinema on Wednesday evening, 9 August.
NITV will once again be following the event with a broadcast – stay tuned!
The 2023 NIFA winners and nominees will all have the opportunity to tour their designs at four QIC centres including Canberra Centre (ACT), Robina Town Centre (QLD), Castle Towers (NSW) and Eastland (VIC), supported by QIC. We thank QIC for partnering with us to celebrate, showcase and bring national exposure to our winners and all of the amazing talent and work being done in First Nations Fashion and Textile Design.
The National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFA) are proudly presented by the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation’s (DAAFF) Indigenous Fashion Projects (IFP), and supported by the Northern Territory Government (NTG). With thanks to our Principal Media Partner NITV and Media Partner marie claire, and industry partners Country Road, NTG, RMIT, Canberra Centre, Robina Town Centre, QIC. NIFA is an umbrella event of Darwin Festival.