First Word

Indigenous model Dream May Langley wears Mia Brennan designs, photographer Wayne Quilliam

First Word

Tina Waru, (Te Atiawa, Ngati Kuri)

tinawaru08@gmail.com

1 February 2014

Whatungarongaro te tangata, toitū te whenua
As man disappears from sight, the land remains

This statement in Te Reo Maori (the language of Maori) demonstrates the holistic values of Maori, and the utmost respect held for Mother Earth.

Embracing one’s cultural heritage and discovering one’s place in the world can be exhilarating or darn right scary but having great leaders and mentors along the way creates that sense of purpose. Such a journey, our journey, started three years ago when we developed the Indigenous Fashion Unearthed (IFU) Project; creating workshops in fashion, hair, makeup, and modelling led by Indigenous industry mentors whilst building the self-esteem and confidence of Indigenous young people.

We set out to change the fact that Indigenous peoples who are naturally artistic, creative, and expressive, rarely consider fashion as a career option even though fashion is one medium where culture could be shared and appreciated. If we are to strengthen the Indigenous presence in the fashion industry we first of all have to take responsibility and the creation of the IFU Project is a great starting point.

In December 2013, the IFU Project established the world’s first Global Indigenous Management (GIM) with a goal to create an entrepreneurial platform that acts as a sustainable solution for its IFU Project. GIM will launch in 2014 and its primary focus is to manage portfolios of Global Indigenous fashion, models, talent, artists, and events.

In February 2014, the IFU Project will be travelling to Arizona, USA to assist Native American models and fashion talent to prepare for its next Indigenous Fashion Runway as part of Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival’s cultural program in March 2014.

For now, we hope you enjoy the images on the cover and inside story – images by Indigenous photographers, of Indigenous models and featuring Indigenous designs reflecting an abiding connection to earth.

Tina Waru, (Te Atiawa, Ngati Kuri) Founder/Creative Director of Indigenous Fashion Unearthed Project.

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