Australian fashion has a firm position in global style, and aboriginal fashion designers is the finest example of the quality of Australian designers. The indigenous fashion designers that we will discuss today are totally unique to each other, similar only in their bold expression and passion for their communities. If you weren’t aware of what incredible talents we had in Australia, read on to learn about incredible indigenous designers who are making their mark on the national and international fashion scene.
Arkie by Arkie Barton
You won’t forget the vibrant colours and one-of-a-kind pieces from the label Arkie, designed and sold in Brisbane but adored from all over. Kalkadunga woman, Arkie Barton, is the creative behind this gorgeous label, only 24 years old and dominating the Brisbane fashion scene while also showing her customers and admirers what her community is about.
If you have an event and want to stand out, the asymmetrical bright pieces from Arkie should be your first point of call. In fact, if you really fall in love with Arkie’s designs, you might like to hang some of her art in your home as it is just as unique and emotive in its design.
Clair Helen by Clair Parker
You can tell that Claire brings to her designs a true respect and understanding of visual art, as the pieces are a sight to behold. As a Tiwi Islander woman, Claire beautifully weaves her culture into her stunning work, while also championing sustainable practices that hold the fashion industry to a more ethical standard of design.
This has never been more important in the design world, and Clair is poised at the front of this movement. Clair’s fashion has even received interest for high profile events, with a garment featuring on the red carpet for the 89th Academy Awards in 2017. This is a label that allows Australians to shop local, support indigenous artists, and contribute to a circular economy. What more could you want?
Haus of Dizzy by Kristy Dickinson
We challenge anyone to go on the Haus of Dizzy website and not spend money. The jewellery pieces created by Kristy Dickinson are truly one of a kind, and they are so fun to wear with their bright colours and eclectic style. The other thing we love about this jewellery label is that political messages are also conveyed through the pieces, like a wearable protest so all to be part of and communicate their values.
This millennial-style jewellery inspiration makes Haus of Dizzy the perfect gift for friends and family who also love pops of colour and advocates the rights of our indigenous community. Follow Haus of Dizzy on Instagram to have some bright and glittery content in your feed and see what Kristy is up to next.
Sown in Time by Lynelle Flinders
Lynelle is a Dharrba Warra descendant from far North Queensland, with her stunning Sown in Time label well-known to Australian designers. You might have seen these hand-printed indigenous patterned textiles at various Fashion Week events around Australia, or when it was part of the First Nations Fashion + Design runway.
If you like delicate silks and free-flowing pieces, this is the label for you. Lynelle also works closely with Bana Yirriji Art Centre in far North Queensland focused on sharing her craft with other indigenous individuals and the greater public.
Amber Days by Corina Muir
If you are always on the lookout for kids clothing for your own children or family members, you must check out the incredible Amber Days label by Corina Muir. Inspired by the Australian bush, sea and desert, this children’s label beautifully captures the essence of Australia.
Corina is proudly a Yorta Yorta and Boonwurrung woman, but also a nature protector and campaigner with her label adhering to a high ethical standard of design and environmentally safe materials. Corina came to be a designer when she had children and struggled to find kids clothing that was not made with harmful chemicals.
All of the prints you will find at Amber Days have come from other female indigenous designers, with Corina actively collaborating with fashion designers all over the country.
Grace Lillian Lee by Grace Lillian Lee
This is a name you probably know, and you might have even seen her stunning fashion at the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia, or even worn on one of her many customers.
Grace, while still an incredible designer, has focused her attention on setting up pathways for future indigenous female fashion designers as she is the founder of First Nations Fashion and Design and the founder of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Her wears were also centre stage in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games as she produced the ‘Intertwined’ Fashion Performance.
Grace Lillian Lee is certainly someone to follow on social media and in the news as she is actively working to highlight and uncover so many incredible talents in Australia.
Which of these fashion designers have you heard of before, and what fashion line most resonates with your own style? By supporting existing and emerging indigenous fashion designers we can all enjoy different narrative perspectives and inspirations.
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