- Over the past few months, various major fashion brands have been rallying for good causes - from Covid-19 relief measures to addressing matters of representation and diversity in the industry.
- Country Road is one of the latest to add to the list, as they partner with the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair.
- The partnership with DAAFF reflects the iconic Australian brand’s desire to create platforms for diverse voices within the fashion industry.
As mega brands continue to flex their muscles of goodwill during times of health and social justice crises, we're welcoming the responsible - albeit long overdue - strides towards change. Since March this year, European luxury labels have been donating millions towards PPE and hospital donations amid the coronavirus crisis. A few weeks ago, youth culture brand Vans joined the #StopHateForProfit Facebook boycott.
And more recently, Tommy Hilfiger announced the launch of its People’s Place Program - a three-pillared platform to advance the representation of black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) within the fashion and creative industries.
This month, Australian-born fashion and lifestyle brand - loved locally in SA - Country Road, announced their contribution to the diversity conversation.
In line with Country Road’s mission to recognise and celebrate Indigenous fashion and creativity in Australia, they are the presenting partner for the Fashion Design Award Category at the inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFA). Friends of Country Road can look forward to watching the live broadcast digitally via NITV on Wednesday, 5 August 2020.
The NIFA aims to recognise and celebrate the innovation, diversity and ethical practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and fashion designers, providing a unique opportunity for both an Australian and international audience to connect to the world’s oldest living cultures.
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Connecting to Country, From our Home to Yours is your region-by-region guide to some of the most dynamic Art Centres and incredible artists working in Indigenous communities across the country. Today we are introducing one of our 2020 Darwin Art Fair Featured Artists Louise Malarvie of @@waringarri_arts as this week we explore the vast Western Desert and north-west Kimberley regions. Louise's practice is informed by her culture and the mesmerising power of Paruku – Lake Gregory, south of Halls Creek on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. Inspired by the many movements of wind across the water and underwater currents she reflects on her connection to place through understated abstract forms. Save the Date 6-14 August 2020 for our first ever digital Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair. ?? Louise Malarvie, Waringarri Aboriginal Arts, 2020, Photo courtesy of Nathan Dyer ?? Louise Malarvie, Ngappa, natural pigment on canvas, 125 x 130cm, 2020 #darwinartfair #aboriginalart #australianartist #artforyourhome #wallart #culture #storytelling #indigenous #painting
Country Road Managing Director Elle Roseby states the partnership with DAAFF reflects the iconic Australian brand’s desire to create platforms for diverse voices within the fashion industry.
In an announcement made on Instagram, Elle says:
"Today I’d like to announce an important partnership incredibly close to all of our hearts here at Country Road. But first, I would like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the lands where Country Road operates, pay my respect to their Elders – past, present and emerging – and acknowledge the important role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples continue to play within the community.
"Country Road has always been a brand with a strong connection to home. We respect the land we’re privileged to live on, we strive to support local communities, and we care for all people our brand reaches. On behalf of Country Road, I am incredibly proud to announce a partnership with the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation @darwinartfair, to support, nurture and grow the wonderful creativity of Australia’s emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent.
"This partnership has been an intentionally slow and considered process, to ensure that any collaboration caters to the needs and wants of Indigenous designers and artists. This is also an opportunity for Country Road to better understand the experience and cultures of First Nations Peoples. There is so much to learn from the world’s oldest living cultures and this is just the beginning of our journey. I can’t wait to share what comes next."
The 2020 National Indigenous Fashion Awards shortlisted panel of judges boasts a culturally rich - of Indigenous heritage - selection of established women in their fields, including Yatu Widders-Hunt, Julie Shaw, Denni Francisco, Liandra Gaykamangu, and Cheryl Creed.
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Meet the 2020 National Indigenous Fashion Awards shortlist. We’re proud to partner with @darwinartfair and play a role in the 2020 National Indigenous Fashion Awards. In addition to joining the judging panel and offering an industry mentorship to the Fashion Design Award winner, we’ll be sharing the stories and voices of these inspiring designers in an upcoming series on Instagram. Joining us will be fellow judge Yatu Widders-Hunt. Yatu is a proud descendant of the Anaiwan and Dunghutti peoples from north-western NSW and the Founder of @ausindigenousfashion and Director @coxinallridgeway. Be sure to keep an eye out for the series kicking off next week.
Stay tuned to find out how SA will participate over the SS20 season.