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

    Shop the David Jones Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway!

    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.

    Want to support First Nations Fashion? Here are some things to think about

    Nick Harvey-Doyle shares considerations to reflect on when engaging with Indigenous fashion, and has a yarn with Michelle Maynard from Indigenous Fashion Projects.

    IFP Pathways Program in 2023

    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.

    Meet the Designers for 2023!

    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! 

    Apply for IFP Pathways Program 2023

    Applications to join the IFP Pathways Program in 2023 are now open! Supported by David Jones, could this be the next opportunity to grow your fashion label?

    The IFP Runway Returns to AAFW 2022!

    Presented by Afterpay & supported by David Jones, Indigenous Fashion Projects, are proud to be returning to Afterpay Australian Fashion Week on Tuesday 10 May at 8pm! The IFP Runway will feature NEW collections from six renowned First Nations women…

    The IFP Runway Returns to AAFW 2022!

    Meeting on Gadigal Country, audiences will be treated to the launch of several exclusive and commercial collections – on the runway for the very first time!

    IFP Yarns | Julie Shaw, MAARA Collective

    Headed up by Yuwaalaraay creative director Julie Shaw, Maara Collective’s luxurious resort wear is informed by a deep connection to community. Julie’s brand honours collaboration in the creative processes, with “maara” translating to “hands” in the Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaraay language groups.
    It’s been a stellar couple of years for Julie and her label, and she’s been written into pretty much every chapter of the IFP story so far!

    Clearing the Path

    The Indigenous Fashion Projects x David Jones Pathways Program pairs First Nations designers with seasoned industry mentors, supporting the development of thriving Indigenous-owned fashion labels…

    5 Indigenous Designers to Catch at David Jones This Month!

    IFP have teamed up with teamed up with David Jones to present the inaugural Pathways Program Pop Up. This Capsule Collection of incredible First Nations fashion is exclusive to the iconic Aussie department store, presenting innovative, contemporary style guided by our oldest living cultures…

    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

        IFP Pathways Program in 2023

        IFP Pathways Program in 2023

        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