WA Indigenous fashion label Kirrikin to take centre stage in Commonwealth Games fashion showcase


TJ Cowlishaw (Kirrikin Summer Production) and Amanda Healy (CEO and Founder of Kirrikin). Indigenous designer launches swimwear for the Commonwealth Games. Picture: David Baylis d481228
TJ Cowlishaw (Kirrikin Summer Production) and Amanda Healy (CEO and Founder of Kirrikin). Indigenous designer launches swimwear for the Commonwealth Games. Picture: David Baylis d481228

THE rich culture of local Aboriginal people will be shared and celebrated on the world stage with an Indigenous fashion showcase during the Commonwealth Games.

Perth’s luxury resort wear line Kirrikin will front the fashion show by relaunching its 2018 swimwear collection on April 14-15 on the Gold Coast.

Kirrikin owner and South Perth resident Amanda Healy, who established the brand in 2014 to fill a gap in the market for high quality Indigenous-designed fashion, said the Games were a chance to respectfully promote Aboriginal stories and culture to the rest of the world.

“We would love our amazing stories and rich culture to be celebrated throughout the world,” she said.

“The colours and styles of our artwork are amazing, it is important that our people and culture are honoured for its beauty, age and depth; as with many indigenous cultures we have been overlooked for too long.

“This particular design is called ‘Hills’ and is by well-known Noongah artist Francine Kickett who works mostly with the colours and atmosphere of the land of her traditional country, which is the southwest of WA.”

Kirrikan, an Aboriginal word roughly translating to ‘Sunday’s best clothes’, will be modelled by its ambassador Samantha Harris who Ms Healy said was a great advocate for Indigenous culture and a strong supporter of what the label stood for.

Kirrikin ambassador Samantha Harris.

“We would like to gain more respect for our artists and artwork,” she said.

“Kirrikin is also a social enterprise, and returns a share of profits to the featured artists, some of our profits go to providing programs for Aboriginal women in prison as well.”

Ms Healy, a Wannarua nation woman from NSW, said the label was a 100 per cent owned and operated Aboriginal business whose creative designer was Morley resident Teagan Cowlishaw who pioneered sustainable and ethical fashion by developing her own label AARLI.

The pair, who joined forces in January with Clair Parker from Clair Helen Collective to design and develop a collection for all ages and backgrounds, have been working from the State Library to finish the collection ahead of the games.

Kirrikin summer will be exclusively available online (https://www.kirrikin.com/) and from selected stockists as of April 1.

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