Creating Pathways for our First Nations Designers
Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation’s Indigenous Fashion Projects (IFP) have partnered with iconic Australian retailer David Jones for the IFP ‘Pathways Program’ for Australia’s First Nations fashion designers.
Photo: Guyala Bayles wears Kirrikin, 2021, photo by Jess James for David Jones
About the Pathways Program
The Pathways Program, supported by David Jones, has been designed to facilitate support for First Nations designers across all stages of the development of a fashion label.
Through a series of workshops and mentorship, the Pathways Program is an opportunity for the iconic retailer and other industry experts to share their industry expertise and nurture the growth of Indigenous businesses.
With the wider fashion industry having much to learn from Indigenous designers, who are grounded in over 60,000 years of heritage, the program also provides a platform to engage in the sharing of stories and culture. Industry partners involved are there to listen and learn as much as they are to share their expertise.
Supported by Industry
The Pathways Program is presented by the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation’s IFP, in collaboration with iconic retailer David Jones.
Broader industry support for the program includes Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) and has seen involvement from Australian designer heavyweights:
Charlotte Hicks of Esse Studios
Mary Lou Ryan and Deborah Sams of Bassike
Jacqueline Hunt and Lisa Dempsey of Jac & Jack
Dale McCarthy of Bondi Born
Lesleigh Jermanus of Alemais
Ana Piteira of Blanca
Renae James of Papinelle
Current Participants Include:
GALI Swimwear – by David Leslie
Gammin Threads – by Tahnee Edwards
Ihraa Swim – by Nat Dann
JOSEPH & JAMES – by Juanita Page
KAMARA Australia – by Naomi Collings
Lazy Girl Lingerie – by Cassandra Pons
Miimi & Jiinda – by Melissa Greenwood and Lauren Jarrett
Alumni Designers Include:
- Maara Collective, By Julie Shaw
- Native Swimwear, By Natalie Cunningham
- Ngali, By Denni Francisco
- Liandra Swim, By Liandra Gaykamangu
- Indii, By Nancy Pattison
- Kirrikin, By Amanda Healy
IFP Pathways Program News
Dive into the latest collections from the IFP Pathways Program designers and refresh your wardrobe with the introduction of the First Nations Designer Capsule Collections.
Nick Harvey-Doyle shares considerations to reflect on when engaging with Indigenous fashion, and has a yarn with Michelle Maynard from Indigenous Fashion Projects.
The IFP Pathways Program, supported by David Jones, returns in 2023 with a new cohort of First Nations designers set for AAFW – AND – a newly launched ‘Track to Pathways’ program underway.
Images: 1) Guyala Bayles wear pieces from Kirrikin and Amanda Healy, IFP Pathways Program x David Jones, First Nations Capsule Collection, 2021, photo by Jess James. 2) IFP Pathways Program Designers, Photo by Terence Ow, courtesy of David Jones. 3) Miimi & Jiinda, IFP Runway, AAFW, 2023, Photo by Getty Images