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The First Standalone First Nations Designer Runway

5/23/2023

This year, history was made at Australian Fashion Week.

Denni Francisco became the first Indigenous designer to hold a solo runway and we couldn’t be more honoured to be involved. Known for their easy-to-wear pieces, Ngali works closely with First Nations artists to bring their artwork to life through fabric.

In a groundbreaking display of cultural celebration, the Ngali founder and Wiradjuri woman showcased a contemporary collection, blending traditional Indigenous designs with silks, layers and airy silhouettes.

Before the momentous event, Ngali approached us to walk the runway with them. A full circle moment since we walked Melbourne’s Fashion Festival together back in 2020.

SOURCE: INDIGITAL.TV

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Teaming a collection of our men’s and women’s boots, the iconic clothing label presented the idea to ask First Nations artists to hand paint a selection of boots to match their pieces, an offer we couldn’t resist. From gum-leaf painted military boots to intricately detailed Chelsea boots, our footwear was complemented by the earthy-toned collection called Murriyang, meaning “skyworld” in Wiradjuri.

Celebrating the country's 65,000-year-old culture, Ngali’s range showcases the art of three First Nations artists, Lindsay Malay, Keedan Rigney and Laura Brown, honouring the rich heritage and traditions of Australia's Indigenous communities. Walking the runway, the show saw the likes of First Nations models, Cindy Rostron, Elaine George,   Charlee Fraser, Magnolia Maymuru and Samantha Harris.

As Ngali translates to ‘we’ or ‘us’ in a number of Australian Aboriginal languages, the show encapsulates their mission to create a harmonious, sustainable and equal union of people with Country and each other.

While it’s just the start of First Nations representation in the fashion industry, we’re incredibly proud to be part of it.

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In celebration of the runway, five pairs of hand-painted boots will be up for silent auction with all proceeds donated to our long-standing partners, Children’s Ground. An organisation dedicated to empowering First Nations children and families from communities in and around Alice Springs, Darwin and West Arnhem Land. Stay tuned!

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We acknowledge and honour First Nations peoples throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay respect to Elders past, present and future as custodians of this land.

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