JULIE SHAW, CREATIVE DIRECTOR AT MAARA COLLECTIVE
“I first created Maara Collective to showcase Indigenous art and fashion. Maara means ‘hands’ in the Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaraay language groups, and I wanted to honour the ‘many hands’ involved in the creative process. I launched the brand at the From Country to Couture runway show in Darwin in August and collaborated with a group of Aboriginal women from the Bula’bula Arts centre in North-East Arnhem Land. The atmosphere at the show was electric – every model that stepped out was applauded. It was as if people were finally sitting up and taking notice of this movement that’s happening in Indigenous art and design.”
EDWINA FOREST, CREATIVE DIRECTOR AT AJE.
“I remember being 19 and going to the Art Gallery of NSW for the
first time to look at [Indigenous artist] Minnie Pwerle’s artwork. There’s so much soul that goes into her work. Our Resort 2017/18 collection was inspired by Minnie and named Awelye, which means women’s ceremonies in her language, Anmatyerre. We wanted to capture Minnie’s powerful connection to the land. It’s crushingly sad that we don’t acknowledge the rightful owners of the land in Australia’s constitution. It’s time to make a proper change – something that should have happened [many] years ago.”
Photography by Hugh Stewart.
This story originally appeared in the February issue of marie claire, out now.