Photo by Elverina Johnson
When it comes to the fashion game it can be hard to design pieces that stand out from the crowd. In a saturated industry, as a conscious consumer we are constantly searching for the most uniquely beautiful pieces we can find.
There's no denying that Australia has some downright amazing fashion designers leading the way in the industry, however what's capturing our attention (and hearts) are the bold, bright and intricate designs by our Indigenous community across the nation.
The art, the detail and the stories behind these brands are like no other and encapsulate everything that we believe fashion should. We've gathered a list of 5 of our favourite Indigenous Australian designers that we want you to know about, like right now.
Elverina Johnson is a First Nations woman from the Aboriginal community of Yarrabah in Far North Queensland, Australia. Her creativity extends from visual art, performing, writing, music, producing and leadership.
Elverina has evolved her art into the wearable kind with her 'Walking in Two Worlds'... Fisherwoman Dream Collection.
Ngarru Miimi is a slow ethical fashion label handprinted, designed and constructed on unceded Wiradjuri country by Lillardia Briggs-Houston – a Wiradjuri Yorta Yorta Gangulu sister, mother and granddaughter.
Meaning Honey Sister, it was established to explore culture, self-determination and sovereignty through fashion and textiles, while showcasing the strength in identity; pride in culture and resilience of Aboriginal Peoples.
Lillardia aims to create change by using fashion and textiles to challenge perspectives of Aboriginal peoples and culture. That behind our beautiful artwork, textiles and designs there is thousands of years of culture and kinship that represents the true history of the many different nations across these lands – a history that has continually been pushed aside and hidden. Aboriginal fashion and textiles is a catalyst for social change and a conversation starter.
Through each sustainable and ethical garment, Lillardia respectfully highlights the strength, pride and connection that we feel as Aboriginal people and collectively showcase Aboriginal culture as a daily reminder that we are, and always will, stand strong on our traditional lands.
Lyn-Al Young is an Indigenous Australian fashion designer and artist from Melbourne, Australia. Celebrating her Gunnai, Waradjuri, Gunditjmara and Yorta Yorta culture through Fashion and Art, Lyn-Al hand paints each of her silk pieces outdoors.
Each piece of silk holds deep symbolic meaning in her cultural heritage, drawing inspiration from animal life, totems, and the landscapes of her heritage.
Liandra Swim fuses Aboriginal Australian Culture with on-trend premium designer swimwear. Designed by Liandra Gaykamangu, a Yolngu woman from North-East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory Australia.
Liandra's signature prints are inspired by their Aboriginal Australian culture. Their dream is to give you the opportunity to exhibit a slice of culture, that has been tens-of-thousands of years in the making! Each print tells a unique story, where they combine 21st century fashion with the Aboriginal pastime of storytelling. Their unique prints and elegant designs consequently deliver an experience in fashion that is unmatched.
MAARA Collective is an Australian luxury resortwear brand embracing a collaborative approach to design.
Designer Julie Shaw works closely with Indigenous artists and creatives, drawing inspiration from Country to present within the context of contemporary fashion.
The brand's name "MAARA Collective" acknowledges and honours the ‘many hands’ involved in the creative and collaborative processes, where the word 'MAARA' refers to ‘hands’ in the Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaraay language groups.