This year’s David Jones Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway will be led by head stylist Lindyn Rowland and head stylist mentor Karinda Mutabazi. 

Both stylists are leading figures within their line of work, Lindyn Rowland is a proud Wiradjuri and Waiben Island man, born on Worimi Country and currently living in Naarm, Wurundjeri Country. As the Founder, Creative Director, and Lead Stylist of ROWLAND Vision, the first and only independently owned Aboriginal eyewear brand, he has collaborated extensively with the AFL and various fashion clients. Through these experiences, Lindyn has honed his ability to blend traditional elements with contemporary fashion, prioritising authenticity and respect in every project.

 Karinda Mutabazi, a freelance wardrobe and fashion stylist, brings her creative curiosity for people and their stories to her work. With regular collaborations including Thelma Plum, Zan Rowe, and Rhys Nicholson, she continually seeks to redefine visual storytelling with thoughtfulness, diversity, and creative authenticity.

We reached out to the David Jones Indigenous Fashion Projects stylists to chat more and discuss their inspiration for the upcoming Australian Fashion Week runway.

What is your Trademark accessory? 

Lindyn Rowland: My WNDY sunglasses from ROWLAND VISION.

Karinda Mutabazi:  I would say my Underground Sundae necklaces and Georgia Perry enamel bracelets that I wear basically everyday. Although, I am probably best known for my hair tbh…. Not an accessory but definitely a very defining trait.

Where do you look for creative inspiration? 

LR: Beyoncé.

KM: People and their stories. I love to hear about what inspired peoples designs/ personal style, where they came from, and what they love.

Style is nuanced and tricky to define, but we usually know it when we see it. What does ‘good styling’ mean to you? 

L.R: I believe anything is ‘good styling’. The more creative and fun you are with styling, the better the unimaginable/unique outcome.

KM: I think the best style is one that tells an authentic story. That is when it resonates and really shines. Fashion and style have a transformative power. It’s so exciting to see someone come to life in something that you have created. 

What do you want to bring to the creative team as Head Stylist for the David Jones Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway at Australian Fashion Week? 

L.R: My goal is to not only show that Blak Excellence is powerful, I also want to create a safe space for all People of Colour, especially our mob in this space, as we weren’t welcomed into these creative spaces for many years. I also want to show the beauty of Blak/Black people, and our connection.

KM: Hopefully a calming energy and years of experience to pass on. I am really passionate about inclusivity and creating safe spaces for talent and creatives alike. Everyone who walks through the door should feel like family.

Lindyn, what would you like to know about Karinda?

Firstly, I would like to address that I ask you these questions (+ 100 more) daily. However, what has been your most memorable moment as a Stylist? Never just one, I have done so many things that I am really proud of, but I would say the best is always yet to come. 

If you had to choose one item to style, what would that be? And why? 

Too hard… next. I am a maximalist. I can’t limit myself to just one thing.

What has it been like working with me, (so far)? 

Haha! So good, we have similar energy levels and similar addiction to coffee. I love this for us.

Karinda, what would you like to know about Lindyn?

Most importantly – What’s your favourite Beyonce song? And what do you think that says about you? 

Very important question! My favourite Beyoncé song is BIGGER from THE GIFT. I don’t really know how to explain in words how this song resonates to me, it just reminds me I’m doing the best I can at certain times.

What can people expect if they sign on to do a Lindyn Rowland show in the future?

A Lindyn Rowland show is all about prioritising culture, and showing Blak Excellence.

What is the biggest thing you have learnt so far that you will take with you to any other runway/styling experience you have?

Biggest thing I’ve learnt is.. I couldn’t do anything like this without the hardest working person I’ve ever met, which is you [Karinda]. You have always been an inspiration, and the most incredible mentor. 

We’re beyond excited to see both Lindyn and Karinda work together, both with their extensive experience and also ensuring the fashion collections tell a story and empower the designers to continue working towards excellence in their own right.

The dynamic pair will transform the David Jones Indigenous Fashion Projects runway runway on Thursday, 16 May. Grab your tickets now!