The Northern Territory is taking the next, critical steps in empowering pathways for Indigenous designers into the fashion industry, Australian Fashion Council CEO, David Giles-Kaye has said.
"The 'From Country to Couture Runway' is so unique and critical for the Australian fashion industry and our indigenous designers," he said.
"[It will] empower those involved to build sustainable businesses, generate income and support their communities, all the while enriching the Australian fashion landscape," he said.
The Inaugural National Aboriginal Fashion Awards will be launched in Darwin next year, and is set to cement the Territory's reputation as an Indigenous arts and culture hub.
"A national Aboriginal fashion award is an amazing next step to celebrate this thriving industry," Mr Giles-Kaye said.
The success of the textile design movement in remote Indigenous communities has led to collaborations with well-known Australian designers.
Announced last week at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair opening ceremony, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss said the fashion award will offer opportunities for remote Indigenous designers and a platform to promote unique couture creations internationally.
"Territory Labor is committed to supporting Indigenous art which includes the burgeoning Aboriginal textile and design industry which continues to make its mark globally," she said.
The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, over the weekend, has seen hundreds of people flock to purchase artwork directly from over seventy Indigenous owned community art centres.
The fair ensures 100 per cent of the sales is funneled back to the communities, and according to the website has so far generated more than $10.5 million in sales over the past 5 years.
Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation chair, Franchesca Cubillo, said, similar to the art fair, the fashion programs are having an "incredible impact" on the Indigenous art sector and providing opportunities for designers in the bush.
"The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation is so proud to provide vibrant platforms to support Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander artists and Art Centres," she said.
"Our fashion programs are having an incredible impact on the Indigenous art sector and this is an exciting time for the industry."
She said the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation has been working to develop the concept of the National Aboriginal Fashion Awards and is looking forward to the inaugural event in 2020.
"This award will showcase talented Indigenous Australian artists, and share their amazing fashion and textile designs to the world," she said.
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