• Juanita Page of Joseph & James
    Juanita Page of Joseph & James
  • David Leslie, Gali Swimwear
    David Leslie, Gali Swimwear

Six First Nations brands will sell their designs at a dedicated pop-up site in David Jones’ Sydney flagship store.

The move is the latest phase for the Indigenous Fashion Projects (IFP) Pathways Program - established in 2020 by the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF) Foundation in partnership with David Jones.

The program is a two-year fashion label development initiative dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designers.

This year, the IFP program took on seven First Nations creatives, with six choosing to showcase their designs via an in-store pop-up and at David Jones online until December 3. The six creatives include men’s swimwear label, Gali Swimwear; Indigenous art and lifestyle brand, Miimi and Jiinda; ready-to-wear menswear label, Joseph & James; luxury swimwear brand, Kamara; Naarm label, Gammin Threads; and Lazy Girl Lingerie.

“The Pathways Program is a proud part of David Jones' ongoing commitment to supporting diverse design perspectives and working towards a future fashion industry that is more inclusive and representative of First Nations design and cultures,” David Jones GM of womenswear, footwear and accessories Bridget Veals said.

“We’re incredibly proud of our partnership with the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation and of the Indigenous Fashion Projects’ role in facilitating the development of First Nations designers through cross-cultural exchange and mentorship.”

The launch was marked at a special event on October 31 at the David Jones’ Sydney CBD flagship. This also coincided with the launch of David Jones’ second Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

“Since 2006, RAPs have provided a framework for organisations to leverage their structures and diverse spheres of influence to support the national reconciliation movement,” Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine said..

“With close to 5 million people now either working or studying in an organisation with a RAP, the program’s potential for impact is greater than ever. David Jones continues to be part of a strong network of corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations that have taken goodwill and transformed it into action.”

David Jones CEO Scott Fyfe said the department store business has a responsibility to leverage its influence to push reconciliation in Australia.

“Whilst the RAP guides David Jones on the delivery of its reconciliation commitments, our collaboration with the Indigenous Fashion Projects is an example of our RAP coming to life. Which is why we felt the Designer Collections in-store event was the perfect time to also launch our new RAP.”

David Jones launched its first RAP in 2018. Since then, the retailer has expanded its First Nations focus through partnerships, education, procurement, and cross-cultural learning.

“The learnings from David Jones’ first RAP have put us in a position to deepen our relationships, grow our commitments and influence, and drive meaningful change across our industry and beyond,” Scott said.

"We are proud to be continuing David Jones’ reconciliation journey, reaffirming our ongoing ambitions to drive reconciliation through our business, our industry and Australia more broadly.”

According to David Jones, the retailer will offer First Nations fashion creatives further collaborations and pathway programs, strengthened marketing support, and employment pathways.

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