Mt Isa design label, MYRRDAH (First Nations Fashion + Design)
First Nations Fashion + Design has partnered with The Iconic for an incubator program supporting Indigenous designers through mentorship, real-world learning, and industry development.
Last week, the first-of-its-kind pilot program revealed the three First Nations labels hand-picked to participate in the program including Kuranda-based designer Briana Enoch of JARAWEE, Gunggandji designer Elverina Johnson of the label PINK FISH, and Mt Isa sisters Glenda, Juanita, Dale, and Cheryl McCulloch with their label MYRRDAH.
Over the next 7-months, designers will participate in workshops, events and experiences developed by a range of industry experts and educators, with ongoing feedback from the Indigenous creative community.
At the end of the program, designers will have the opportunity to take part in an eCommerce shoot and will be invited to sell their collections on fashion platform The Iconic.
The three Queensland based Aboriginal designers will be mentored by celebrated industry professionals including P.E. Nation’s, Pip Edwards, Johnny Schembri from By Johnny, and Laura and Tristan Liles from Kinga Csilla.
Curator of First Nations Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, Shonae Hobson is one of the cultural mentors supporting the designers on their journey, alongside CEO and co-founder of Clothing the Gaps, and founder and creative director of Maara Collective, Julie Shaw.
Hobson, a Kaantju woman, has done a lot of work with First Nations Fashion + Design and says the program is a great opportunity to create a safe space to highlight the incredible work mob are doing in the industry.
Briana Enoch, a Kuku-Yalanji, Quandamooka and Kaantju woman, says she hope the program will give her the tools she needs to take JARRAWEE international.
Juanita McCulloch of MYRRDAH, says their designs are informed by their culture and homelands but says there a number of barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people getting started in the fashion business, like remoteness and intergenerational poverty.