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Photo – Ngali collection, winner of the Fashion Design award.

The Very Best In First Nations Fashion Design!

4th August, 2021

The National Indigenous Fashion Awards were held on Larrakia Country (Darwin), recognising First Nations artists + designers across six categories.

The second annual National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFA) were held on Larrakia Country (Darwin) last night. Supported by Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation, the program connects the global fashion industry to the awe-inspiring creative prowess and textile innovation produce by the world’s oldest living culture.

The highly anticipated awards program recognised 31 exceptional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and fashion designers across six categories. Paul McCann took out the Cultural Adornment and Wearable Art award (the creator of *that* gown presented at Australian Fashion Week) while Denni Francisco of Ngali won the Fashion Design award, presented by Country Road (who offer a 12-month mentorship as a prize – currently being completed by last year’s winner Julie Shaw of MAARA Collective!).

The Textile Design category was awarded to internationally recognised artist Eunice Napanangka Jack from Ikuntji Arts – who is one of the collective’s founding members. Anindilyakwa Arts with Dr Aly de Groot and Anna Reynolds won the Community Collaboration category; the Environmental and Social Contribution award was won by Mylene Holroyd of Pormpuraaw Art & Culture featuring Simone Arnol Designs for their sculptures created from repurposed ghost nets; and a special recognition was given to Bima Wear recognising the Tiwi women’s organisation’s 50-year contribution to Aboriginal textile design.

With such a rich field of First Nations talent in Australia we aren’t surprised by the depth and diversity of this list of finalists. We love to see it!

To see the full lineup and details of the winners, head to NIFA here.

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

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