By Nina Fitzgerald and Ellie Meyer
The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (DAAFF) is launching the inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards (aka NIFA), set to be broadcast on NITV social channels on 5 August. With over 30 nominations across six categories, these awards recognise and celebrate the innovation, creativity, diversity and ethical practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, fashion designers, stylists, models, creative producers and artistic directors.
Image: Featured from the 2019 From Country to Couture Runway, Bima Wear x Clair Helen Collection. Photo by Dylan Buckee
WHY THE NIFAs…
The rich value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture is recognised across the world. DAAFF has supported the growing success of the vibrant textile design industry in remote Indigenous communities, as well as the value and the critical cultural role of independent First Nations designers and creatives.
In 2016, to support this growing avenue of artistic expression, we worked with textile artists and designers and successfully launched the first Country to Couture fashion showcase. Now held annually, it celebrates the marriage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contemporary fine art, textiles and fashion, in a vibrant runway show. This has led to exciting collaborations with both local seamstresses and well-known Australian designers.
Building on the amazing success of Country to Couture, the Northern Territory Government have extended their support to enable DAAFF to develop the inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Award in 2020!
“The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation is so proud to provide vibrant platforms to support Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander artists and Art Centres. Our fashion programs are having an incredible impact on the Indigenous art sector and this is an exciting time for the industry.
DAAFF has been in deep converation with Indigenous fashion creatives to develop the concept of the National Aboriginal Fashion Awards, and we are now so excited to present it in 2020. This award will showcase talented Indigenous Australian artists, and share their amazing fashion and textile designs to the world.”
– Franchesca Cubillo, DAAFF Chair
Image: Featured from the 2019 From Country to Couture Runway, Maara Collective X Bula’bula Arts collaboration. Photo by Dylan Buckee.
RECOGNISING TALENT ACROSS 6 CATEGORIES
These awards will recognise and celebrate the innovation, creativity, diversity and ethical practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, fashion designers, stylists, models, creative producers and artistic directors, while providing capacity building opportunities.
Six key award categories have been developed:
- Cultural Adornment and Wearable Art
- Textile Design
- Community Collaboration
- Special Recognition
- Environmental and Social Contribution
- Fashion Design
The inaugural year has seen over 30 nominations from our community, and we’re thrilled with the calibre of talent and innovation across each of the award categories.
Developed in collaboration with key industry stakeholders, the prizes for each category are designed to ensure the sustainable growth of First Nations fashion creatives. These include opportunities for small business development, industry mentoring, financial support and promotion by major public institutions and key fashion media.
LAUNCHING THIS AUGUST
As a natural progression to our work, the inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFAs) will be launched on 5 August 2020.
Viewers across the country will be able to tune into the national broadcast of the event, thanks to the support of NITV. It has never been more important to come together and celebrate the amazing work and talent of Australia’s First Nations fashion creatives.
MORE COMING SOON
Over the coming weeks in the lead up to the award broadcast, we’ll be announcing each of the nominees across the six categories, introducing our judging panel, and delving into each of the categories and their importance.
To stay updated, be sure to follow @indigenousfashionprojects on Instagram, and sign up to our newsletter below.