Get to know the designers behind the labels who’ll be showcasing at this year’s David Jones Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week!
Images courtesy of the designer: 1) David Leslie, 2) Gali Swimwear – Pauline Napangardi Gallagher, Lukarrara Orange swim brief, Model Lucas Schober, Photographer Anthony Kalajzich, Creative Rhys Ripper.
By David Leslie
GALI Swimwear designer David Leslie is a proud Kamilaroi man with family from Coonabarabran in north-western NSW. Now living in Bondi (on Gadigal and Bidjigal lands), David has a deep connection to the coast as a volunteer surf lifesaver with North Bondi SLSC.
“This connection to water is part of the inspiration behind GALI.
GALI, in Kamilaroi language, means water. Naming the brand GALI was my way of connecting my love for the water with my culture and passion for First Nations art.
GALI Swimwear fuses Australia’s First Nation culture with sustainable men’s swimwear. We ethically collaborate with artists and communities to create premium swimwear that is designed to be celebrated around the world.
Our swimwear starts conversations…”
Images courtesy of the designer: 1) Designer Juanita Page, Photographer Clint Peloso. 2) JOSEPH & JAMES, Part 02 Daydream Campaign, 2022, Photographer Clint Peloso.
JOSEPH & JAMES
By Juanita Page
Juanita Page is a proud Gooreng Gooreng and South Sea Islander woman, making her mark on menswear.
“When I was young, I became interested in fashion after being drawn into the romanticism of evening wear on red carpets and the wedding gowns that would appear at the end of couture fashion shows. However, when I began studying fashion design, the realisation dawned on me that everyone seemingly defaulted to creating womenswear. At that moment, I decided I’d take up the mantle of being part of the next generation of Australian menswear designers.”
Juanita launched JOSEPH & JAMES alongside her husband, Ashford Page, together creating a place customers can get something distinct but with longevity in mind—both in design and quality.
“My design aesthetic is influenced by my love for timeless sartorial elements and the creativity that flows when designing within that discipline, coupled with my desire to bring that refined essence into the streetwear environment. I aim to provide a unique signature on each piece, with the intent to apply more artistry into everyday functional menswear.”
Images courtesy of the designer: 1) Nat Dann, 2) Ihraa Swim by Nat Dann, The Mermaid Queen Collection – Print & Photography by Bobbi Lockyer.
By Nat Dann
Ihraa Swim’s Nat Dann is a Bardi, Nyul Nyul, Nyikina woman from the Kimberley region, who grew up in in the Pilbara. A mother of one, her label Ihraa Swim, pronounced “Eye-Rah” is named after her daughter Aarhi (backward).
“I draw my inspiration from my culture and upbringing as a salt water woman. The land, the sea, the colors and the beautiful Kimberley landscapes all play integral parts in my design process.
I’d always be in search of the perfect bikini but could never really find anything that I loved. For me it was always about the prints… I love wearing one-of-a-kind garments that nobody else has because they tell a story and so Ihraa Swim was born.”
Images courtesy of the designer: 1) Cassandra Pons, 2) Lazy Girl Lingerie, ETHEREAL Editorial, Photo by Daphne Sky Studios
Lazy Girl Lingerie
By Cassandra Pons
Cassandra is a proud First Nations woman, passionate about creating lingerie for all bodies of all shapes, sizes, colours and ages. Recognising how society’s so-called ‘beauty standards’ are ever changing, Lazy Girl Lingerie is creating an inclusive space where all women can feel acknowledged, seen and valued.
Lazy Girl Lingerie “is here to take away the stigma from sensuality and celebrate women celebrating themselves! Lingerie doesn’t have to be for anyone else’s gaze, it can be something that feels like a superpower, worn to celebrate your body and take on your day with effortless confidence… [My] sincere wish is to inspire as many women as possible to burn the rule book and adorn themselves in unique confidence, giving a permission slip to other women to do the same”.
Cassandra has worked for some of the most esteemed Australian fashion houses and formally studied fashion design before founding Lazy Girl Lingerie in 2016. She now runs her business out of Mununjali Country in the beautiful Scenic Rim Queensland.
A slow fashion ethos sees minimal waste with bespoke, made to order pieces. She aspires to make a change for good in the fashion industry, educating consumers on the ethical and environmental footprint of their purchases.
By Tahnee Edwards
Tahnee Edwards is a proud Yorta Yorta and Taungurung designer, creator and founder of Gammin Threads. Inspired by her love of culture, community and cool aunties, Tahnee started Gammin threads in 2018.
Gammin Threads was born from a love of typography, language and blak pride. It has become a loved and iconic brand amongst First Nations communities and allies nation-wide. The use of bold colours, humour and messages that speak to issues that impact community mean Gammin Threads represents much more than just clothing. It speaks to pride, women’s empowerment and community.
Images courtesy of the designer: 1) Naomi Collings. 2) KAMARA Australia, MIM one piece Photographer Emily Abay, Model Jess Purchase.
By Naomi Collings
Born and based on Wulgurukaba and Bindal Country in Townsville North Queensland, Gugu Badhun and Kutjala designer Naomi Collings put a twist on her own Melanoma journey to combine culture, skin health, art and fashion.
KAMARA, Naomi’s middle name, is a gift from her inspiring Grandmother. Forever seeking to make her proud, the Gugu Badhun and Kutjala designer keeps her Grandmother, family, and responsibilities close at heart when designing and growing the brand.
Building KAMARA has drawn on her experience in fashion and contract management. A lover of balance, Naomi’s approach to fashion is solution focused. Blending an obsession for art and fashion, with her love for data. Naomi holds value in design quality, respectful practices and “doing good” in KAMARA’s bubble of existence.
Images courtesy of the designer: 1) Melissa Greenwood and Lauren Jarrett, photographer Milina Opsenica. 2) Miimi & Jiinda collection.
Miimi & Jiinda
By Melissa Greenwood and Lauren Jarrett
Melissa Greenwood is a proud Gumbaynggirr, Dunghutti and Bundjalung Nyami (Woman) living and working on her traditional homelands, Gumbaynggirr Jagun. Together with her Miimi (Mother) Lauren Jarrett, an accomplished traditional craftswoman, she founded Miimi & Jiinda, the Indigenous art and design brand in 2018. With a business that now encompasses artwork, homewares, textiles and clothing, this year will see the birth of their first designer collection.
Miimi & Jiinda, the label, was born from a desire to translate ancestral stories onto something more than canvas. Honouring her deep connection to Country, Creative Director, Melissa Greenwood designs contemporary clothing and textiles to showcase and celebrate Indigenous art and culture. Together with the master weaving skills of Lauren Jarrett, Miimi & Jiinda produce collections that are bold, culturally relevant and empowering to wear.
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