Here are the nominees for this year’s National Indigenous Fashion Awards

Image via North
Words by Ella Bazzani-Hockley

The best of the best.

We’ve always known that Australia is home to some hugely talented creatives, but this year’s shortlist of nominees for the National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFA) proves it.

The vision of NIFA, organised by the NT Government in collaboration with key industry stakeholders, is to recognise the contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and designers across the fashion industry. 

The inaugural competition has just shortlisted 30 designers and artists across six different award categories. It features an incredible assortment of printmakers, jewellers and sculptors, designers, models and advocates from all across Australia.

The cultural adornment and wearable art award celebrates items created as either fine art pieces or accessories which attempt to define or express culture. The list of nominees includes Peggy Griffiths, who crafts pendants from red clay and Lillardya Allirra Briggs-Houston, who makes 100 per cent ethically produced feather earrings and thick woven hoops from screen printed Marayarrang Ngurambang fabrics.

The textile design award nominees are printmakers and textile designers creating woven, knitted or surface ornamented designs, and nominees include textile brand North, Kieran Karritopul and Ikuntji artists.

A third category, the community collaboration award, recognises the relationships built between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and textile and fashion spaces, which expand and diversify the industry. For example, the recent collaboration between Gorman and Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency is nominated, as is a textile collaboration between Magpie Goose and Ikuntji artists, a collection featuring prints inspired by acacia trees, sandhills and rock formations.


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The special recognition shortlist includes groups, organisations or individuals who have massively contributed to the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fashion. Nominees include Perina Drummond from Indigenous modelling agency Jira models and artist and curator Grace Lillian Lee.

The environmental and social contribution category features Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander leaders in environmental and social spaces that are creating new practices or approaches to textiles, fashion and advocacy. Included in the nominees are sustainable swimwear brand Liandra Swim and the Northern Territory-based Anindilyakwa Arts Hub.


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We only have ONE Barbie-Lee One Piece left… in a size Large 🙊 Once it goes, that’s it… gone forever! #limitededition

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Lastly, the Fashion Design Award recognises Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander-led commercial labels with at least two original collections, and features top-tier designers like Ngali, Maara Collective, and Murri Quu Couture.

The winners will be chosen by a judging panel including Yatu Widders-Hunt, the founder and curator of Aus Indigenous Fashion, as well as Ursula Raymond of the Northern Territory Treaty Commission and Leila Naja-Hibri of the Australian Fashion Council.

Launching this August, the inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards ceremony will be broadcast across the country via NITV. Before then, stay up to date with the Indigenous Fashion projects Instagram here.


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