Ngali founder Denni Francisco has taken out the top title at the National Indigenous Fashion Awards 2022. 

Francisco was handed the Fashion Designer Award, supported by Country Road, for the second year in a row at a ceremony staged on August 3.

Set under the stars on Larrakia Country at the Deckchair Cinema in Darwin, the sold-out event celebrated Australia’s First Nations peoples in fashion and textiles.

Ngali is a sustainable womenswear label created by Wiradjuri woman Denni Francisco.

Ngali collections evolve through the lens of Yindayamarra – fashion that shows respect, is polite, considered, gentle to Country and shows honour to the cross Country collaborations they enjoy with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives.

"I believe as an Indigenous person, there is a connection to our ancestors that we feel guided by," Francisco says on her website. "It’s like an invisible support... that’s why we feel like we have freedom to create.

"As a culture, I think we just see things a little bit differently. I measure Ngali’s success on what it means for the remote Indigenous artists we work with, what it is we can contribute to educating our kids in remote communities, and the ability for us to share our stories and celebrate who we are as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people."

Since her previous win, Francisco has undertaken a 12-month mentorship program at Country Road covering product development, quality control, legal, marketing and sustainability.

The 2022 NIFA winners are:   

Esther Yarllarlla, Bábbarra Women’s Centre – Traditional Adornment Award, supported by Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation

Mimili Maku Arts, Linda Puna x Unreal Fur – Community Collaboration Award, supported by Canberra Centre

Philomena Yeatman, Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct – Textile Design Award, supported by RMIT

Denni Francisco, Ngali – Fashion Designer Award, supported by Country Road

Lillardia Briggs-Houston, Ngarru Miimi – Wearable Art Award, supported by the Northern Territory Government

Laura Thompson, Clothing The Gaps – Business Achievement Award, supported by KIN Fashion

Highly Commended: Bábbarra Women’s Centre, Bábbarra Designs, Nominee for the Business Achievement Award


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