Nominees Released for the 2nd National Indigenous Fashion Awards

The National Indigenous Fashion Awards have released the nominees for their second annual fashion awards.

Credit: Russh

Following the success of their debut last year, the National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFA) have released the nominee list for 2021. The official NIFA awards will be held in Larrakia Country, part of the upper Northern Territory, on August 3rd. The awards increase the representation of Indigenous designers within Australia’s fashion landscape.

Dave Giles-Kaye, head of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (DAAFF) has expressed his excitement at their hosting of the awards.  He also spoke highly of the opportunities this would present for the Indigenous community.

“The Country to Couture Runway is so unique and critical for the Australian fashion industry and our Indigenous designers. The event generates excitement among industry members, consumers and people in remote Indigenous communities.”

Credit: NIFA

Indigenous Innovation

Initially, the DAAFF faced controversy when choosing to present First Nations textile design with fine art. The NIFA commented on critics’ claims that the two artistic practices should be separated. However, audiences embraced the move and rejected notions of their “necessary” separation.

After seeing a need to support Indigenous peoples’ ventures into the fashion industry, the DAAFF developed the internationally-acclaimed fashion show Country to Couture in 2016. This then led to the launch of the NIFA awards in 2020. Alongside celebrating fashion, the awards also seek to celebrate the innovative and impacting practices of Indigenous Australians seeking to become a part of the fashion industry.

Credit: NIFA

There are 6 awards for the ceremony. These include Cultural Adornment and Wearable Art, Textile Deisgn, Fashion Design, Environmental and Social Contribution, Community Collaboration, and Special Recognition.


Take a look at the full list below:

Cultural Adornment and Wearable Art

Cassie Leatham – Wild Blak Arts

Elisa Jane Carmichael 

Krystal Hurst – Gillawarra Arts

Lillardia Briggs – Houston – Ngarru Miimi

Lydia Baker – Bush Magic Metal

Michelle Woody Minnapinni and Rachel Freddy Puruntatameri – Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association

Paul McCann

Rhonda Sharpe – Yarrenyty Arltere Artists

Yvonne Odegaard – Moydra Designs


Textile Design

Alice Nampitjinpa Dixon – Ikuntji Artists

Deborah Wurrkidj – Babbarra Women’s Centre

Eunice Napapangka Jack – Ikuntji Artists

Francoise Lane – Indij Design

Keturah Zimran – Ikuntji Artists

Lillardia Briggs-Houston – Ngarru Miimi

Mavis Nampitjinpa Marks – Ikuntji Artists

Merrepen Art Centre

Rhonda Sharpe – Yarrenyty Arltere Artists

Wayne Connolly – Yarrabah Art Centre


Fashion Design

Denni Francisco – Ngali

Nancy Pattison – Indii Swimwear

Natalie Cunningham – Native Swimwear


Environmental and Social Contribution

Annabel Amagula – Anindilyakwa Arts

Liandra Gaykamangu – Liandra Swim

Mylene Holroyd – Pormpuraaw Art & Culture featuring Simone Arnol designs


Community Collaboration

Anindilyakwa Arts

Hope Vale x QUT fashion collaboration – Wuwu (Soul) collection

Ikuntji Artists– Publisher Textiles

Wayne Quilliam


Special Recognition

Bima Wear

Yarrenyty Arltere Artists


The Awards ceremony will be broadcast nationally on NITV on Tuesday, the 3rd of August 2021.

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