Australian Indigenous Fashion Week was held for the first time on 11 April, 2014. An article in Business of Fashion described the event as ‘a major cultural leap forward’. One of the Indigenous student leaders from Koori Centre at the University of Sydney, Madison McIvor, said it was significant for her and ‘a true celebration of raw talent and artistic flair’. She also added that the runway had ‘an excellent balance between the culture of fashion week’, such as the presence of Indigenous supermodels like Samantha Harris, and ‘Indigenous pride and celebration’.
At the event, McIvor felt ‘a strong sense of community support’ that goes beyond supporting the Indigenous designers and runway shows.
Despite the fact that fashion is meant to relate to every individual (even the ones who hate it), runway shows are never relatable for all. It is hard for all people to relate when ethnic minorities are so habitually under-represented.
Events like Australian Indigenous Fashion Week, by contrast, ensure a fair representation and presence of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders population while at the same time showcasing their creative talents.
For more details of AIFW, check out their website here.