Akin Collection : curation of a collaboration between Indigenous artists and fashion designers to create a retail-ready luxury fashion label

McMahon, Kay, Morley, Jane, & Macnee, Cynthia (2012) Akin Collection : curation of a collaboration between Indigenous artists and fashion designers to create a retail-ready luxury fashion label. [Exhibition/Event]

[img] Akin Collection (Image: JPEG 3MB)
Image credit: Michael greves
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[img] Akin Collection (Image: JPEG 2MB)
Image credit: Michael Greves
Available to QUT staff and students only | Request a copy from author
[img] Akin Collection (Image: JPEG 2MB)
Image credit: Michael Greves
Available to QUT staff and students only | Request a copy from author
[img] Akin Collection (Image: JPEG 3MB)
Image credit: Michael Greves
Available to QUT staff and students only | Request a copy from author
[img] Akin Collection (Image: JPEG 2MB)
Image credit: Michael Greves
Available to QUT staff and students only | Request a copy from author
[img] Akin Collection (Image: JPEG 2MB)
Image credit: Michael Greves
Available to QUT staff and students only | Request a copy from author
[img] Akin Collection (Image: JPEG 3MB)
Image credit: Michael Greves
Available to QUT staff and students only | Request a copy from author
[img] Akin Collection (Image: JPEG 3MB)
Image credit: Michael Greves
Available to QUT staff and students only | Request a copy from author
[img] Akin Collection (Image: JPEG 3MB)
Image credit: Michael Greves
Available to QUT staff and students only | Request a copy from author
[img]
Preview
Akin Collection (Image: JPEG 3MB)
Image credit: Michael Greves
[img]
Preview
Akin Collection (Image: JPEG 3MB)
Image credit: Michael Greves
[img]
Preview
Akin Collection (Image: JPEG 2MB)
Image credit: Michael Greves
[img]
Preview
Akin Collection (Image: JPEG 3MB)
Image credit: Michael Greves
[img]
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Promotional Material (PDF 100kB)
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Promotional Material (Image: JPEG 3MB)
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Presentation (PDF 7MB)
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Research Statement (PDF 12kB)

Description

The Akin collection is the outcome of a project to lead, guide and curate a luxury, retail-ready fashion collection from a collaboration between five emerging fashion designers and five established Indigenous artists. Research background There is a history of Indigenous artists in Australia being treated unethically; by misappropriation and misrepresentation of their work, inequity of payment for their creativity and little acknowledgement of their cultural contribution to collaborative fashion product sold globally. This has created an atmosphere of bad press for fashion, as well as a fear for emerging designers to include/collaborate with Indigenous artists for textile prints. This fear has been so intense that many emerging Australian designers are now seeking collaboration with other countries’ Indigenous communities, thus missing out on a rich cultural and diverse aesthetic that could brand a truly unique Australian label in the international marketplace. The fashion brands that have collaborated with Indigenous Australian artists have traditionally been a ONE designer label incorporating Indigenous prints, for collections that have little acknowledgement of the artist’s contribution and strong branding for the label and/or fashion designer. This collection seeks to create an equitable and profitable fashion collection under one brand where all artists and designers receive equal payment, equal promotion/credibility, as well as equal royalties for any garments ordered by retailers. Research question Is it possible to curate an ethical, luxury, retail-ready, international fashion brand with a collaboration of five (5) emerging designers and five (5) Indigenous artists? Research contribution In the fashion industry, existing collaborations for Australian Indigenous artists have been with ONE fashion designer or one existing fashion label. This is the first fashion collection created under one brand name with equal credibility and profits for both artists and designers. The process involved presenting workshops ranging from understanding the logistics and timing of the fashion supply chain, costing of garments, the process of ‘ranging’ fashion product for a collection and creating repeat prints from a specific artwork, ready for digital printing. A workshop was also facilitated so both designer and artist could work together to create (and co-own) unique t shirt prints. Lawyers were consulted and ethical contracts were drawn up to cover all participants in this innovative collaboration. While the collaboration of artist and designer was important, the collection required curation of all elements so that the final collection came together as a professional and cohesive, quality, retail- ready product. This could only be created by experienced practitioners. Research significance The Akin Collection is the first Australian fashion brand to be created as a collaboration between five equally recognised Indigenous artists and five emerging fashion designers. It has familiarized the Indigenous artists to the logistics and culture of the fashion industry and the emerging fashion designers have been familiarized to the logistics and culture of how to collaborate with the unique Indigenous artwork that exists in Australia. After only three months, this culminated in a fashion parade showcasing the Akin collection to over 400 members of the public, government, media and retail. Feedback has been strong from the media and the industry, and a lookbook and photoshoot has been organised to promote and sell the collection both nationally and internationally. These concepts plus the curation outlined, has created a successful, luxury, quality collection ready for the international runways. This project has devised an ethical template for other Indigenous artists and emerging designers to create fashion collections that offer a unique aesthetic that could position and brand Australian fashion in the international marketplace. Key Words Indigenous artists, emerging fashion designers, Australian fashion design, ethical fashion, luxury Australian brand

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 55431
Item Type: Creative Work (Exhibition/Event)
Refereed: No
Funders: Arts Queensland, QUT Creative Enterprise Australia, Queensland Design Council, Australian Govenment Visual Arts & Craft Strategy, QUT Fashion, Kickarts Cairns
Material: a retail ready 20 piece fashion collection
Measurements or Duration: Spring Summer 2012/13 - 20 piece collection
Number of Pieces: 12 outfits presented in the 2012 Fashion Parade Chaos & Control
Locations/Venues:
Location: From date: To date:
Creative Industries Precinct and Cairns KickArts 2012-07-25 2012-11-21
Keywords: Indigenous artists, emerging fashion designers, Australian fashion design, ethical fashion, luxury Australian brand
Divisions: Past > Disciplines > Fashion
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Creative Enterprise Australia & QUT Fashion
Deposited On: 20 Dec 2012 04:37
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2015 16:44

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