First Nations designers were on show this week from the Indigenous Fashion Projects Pathways (IFP) Program, supported by David Jones.

IFP is a mentorship program of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation, a not-for-profit Indigenous organisation, owned and governed by the 75 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centres it represents.

Following the success of the inaugural IFP runway at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) in 2021, the show presented collections from five of Australia’s leading first Nations designers.

This included Wonnarua designer Amanda Healy, mentored by Bianca Spender; Yolngu designer Liandra Gaykamangu, mentored by Dale McCarthy of Bondi Born; Yuwaalaraay designer Julie Shaw, mentored by Edwina Forest and Adrian Norris of Aje; Ngarabal designer Natalie Cunningham, mentored by Charlotte Hicks of Esse Studios and; Wiradjuri designer Denni Francisco, mentored by Deborah Sams and Mary Lou Ryan of Bassike.

The Pathways Program facilitates support for First Nations designers across all stages of the development of a fashion label.

Through a series of workshops and mentorship, the program is an opportunity for the iconic retailer and key Australian fashion labels to share their expertise and nurture the growth of Indigenous businesses.

David Jones GM of womenswear, footwear and accessories Bridget Veals reaffirmed the department store's commitment to the program. 

“The IFP Pathways Program initiative is part of David Jones’ ongoing commitment to supporting diverse design perspectives and working towards a future Australian fashion industry that is more inclusive and representative of Indigenous design and culture.”

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