Six cool Indigenous designers you need to know

Designs from Grace Lillian Lee. (Photo: Grace Lillian Lee/Instagram)

From chic swimwear and artistic prints to covetable streetwear and jewellery that embraces traditional Australian culture, Indigenous designers are making waves here and overseas.

As part of NAIDOC Week we take a look at six of the most innovative and creative fashion labels powered by young First Australians.

  1. Haus Of Dizzy
    This cult Aussie accessory label is anything but boring. Designed by Wiradjuri woman, Kristy Dickinson, Haus of Dizzy creates bold hand-painted jewellery that comes in designs from dinosaurs and hearts to her popular ‘Deadly’ range. Many of Haus of Dizzy’s designs embrace Indigenous heritage and come in a range of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island flag designs and change the date logomania. Haus of Dizzy has been worn by the likes of Kaiit, Miranda Tapsell, Drew Barrymore and Lauryn Hill!

  2. Gammin Threads
    Gammin Threads is a contemporary fashion brand which makes stylish and sweet designs that celebrate blak pride and the empowerment of Indigenous women. Gammin’s logo T-shirts, sweatshirts, stickers and necklaces are trendy and wearable streetwear items made by Indigenous designer Tahnee, who is a proud descendent of the Yorta Yorta, Taungurung, Boonwurrung and Mutti Mutti nations.

  3. Arkie
    Arkie’s brand philosophy is to bring “contemporary Aboriginal culture to mainstream Australian’s through fashion”. The brand’s stunning artwork is inspired by designer Arkie Barton’s Indigenous heritage and reflects the cool culture of the brand. Her Dreamtime and Mirage collections are trendy contemporary silhouettes but are elevated with Barton’s abstract designs. Barton also sells her designs as canvas’, which may just be the perfect centre art piece in your home!

  4. Aarli
    Aarli is an innovative new streetwear brand which focuses on sustainability and ethical clothing production. Their designs are simple but stylish and include perfect wardrobe staples for both men and women. They’re recent couture collaboration with Clair Parker of the Clair Helen Collective created three red-carpet-ready gowns out of recycled fabrics. Aarli is 100% proudly Indigenous run and owned.

  5. Grace Lillian Lee
    Grace Lillian Lee is an Australian designer who creates handmade pieces inspired by traditional Torres Straight Island weaving techniques, and the results are breathtaking. Grace’s work has been displayed in museums across Australia but despite being such a busy artist she has also been heavily involved in promoting Indigenous designed fashion.

  6. Kirrikin
    While Kirrikin roughly translates to mean “Sunday best”, Kirrikin’s designs are so unique you will want to wear them every day. Kirrikin’s founder Amanda Healey, who is from the Wonnarua nation, created the brand to fill a hole she saw in the market that lacked wearable and stylish Indigenous designed garments. What started as scarves and pocket squares has now expanded to swimwear, chic jumpsuits, skirts, dresses and pants all featuring Indigenous designed prints from a variety of artists.

About Isabelle Knevett 8 Articles
21 year old Journalism student with a love of all things couture and cats.