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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 Australian designer heavyweights:


    • Charlotte Hicks of Esse Studios

    • Mary Lou Ryan and Deborah Sams of Bassike

    • Bianca Spender

    • Adrian Norris and Edwina Forest of Aje

    • Margie Woods of Viktoria & Woods

    • Dale McCarthy of Bondi Born

      The Participating Designers

      • 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

        Above | IFP Pathways Program Designers, Photo by Terence Ow, courtesy of David Jones.

        Banner | Guyala Bayles wear pieces from Kirrikin and Amanda Healy, IFP Pathways Program x David Jones, First Nations Capsule Collection, 2021, photo by Jess James.

        IFP Pathways Program News

        IFP Yarns | Julie Shaw, MAARA Collective

        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

        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!

        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…