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NEW FASHION WEEK: There’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia and the Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide Fashion Festivals. Now indigenous Australians are about to get their very own fashion week.
Organized by Sydney-based indigenous-owned and -managed marketing and events company All The Perks, the inaugural Australian Indigenous Fashion Week is due to take place in Sydney in September 2013 and will initially showcase the work of about 30 designers and artists. Some of the names may not be strangers to the country’s major fashion events – or indeed, even the global fashion stage. For their Australian Outback-inspired fall Rodarte collection, Laura and Kate Mulleavy licensed artworks from, among others, the late Benny Tjangala from the Papunya Tula collective in Alice Springs. And May’s Spring/Summer 2012/2013 MBFWA showcase in Sydney showcased the Western Australia-based Kooey swimwear brand and the psychedelic work of artists Jimmy Pike, Judy Napangardi Watson and Shanna Napanangka Williams in the collection of Melbourne-based Indian designer Roopa Pemmaraju.
But All the Perks managing director Krystal Perkins hopes to foster a buying platform for the work of many others such as the Tiwi Art Network, Maruku Arts and Crafts at Uluru and the Badu Island artists, across fashion, accessories, jewellery, textiles and furniture. Said Perkins, “I don’t think there’s ever been a good marketing platform to take such authentic and well-made product out there, that’s what we’re doing”.