Melbourne-based Indigenous fashion label Ngali will present the first ever First Nations solo runway show at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week on 17 May.

Founder and Wiradjuri designer Denni Francisco is passionate about using the brand’s growing platform to create conversations about Indigenous culture through collaboration.

“‘Together we create’ is not just our brand motto; it’s a way of being,” Denni explains.

Ngali’s upcoming runway show incorporates the works of five other Indigenous creatives in the show’s footwear, millinery, and accessories.

“Ngali’s process is to present fashion that shows respect, is polite, considered, gentle to Country, and shows honour to the cross-country collaborations we have with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives.

The label’s influence and community impact extend beyond championing First Nations creatives, with part of their sales proceeds donated to Dot Com Mob, a not-for-profit that provides technology and IT education to remote Indigenous communities.

Collaboration will also play an essential role in Ngali’s attendance at the event, with several organisations helping the label hit the Carriageworks runway next week.

“We’re grateful for our new partnership with Liberty Financial, who covered the team’s transport and accommodation in Sydney. Without organisations like Liberty, this wouldn’t be possible.”

Other sponsors supporting Ngali’s history-making runway show are the Victorian Government, Lend Lease, IMG, Kinaway Chamber of Commerce, Kevin Murphy, Keolis Downer, Mecca M-Power and Bared Footwear.

“It’s empowering to see so many organisations want to be involved in sharing Indigenous stories and talent with the world.”

Ngali’s cast of First Nations models will debut the new Murriyang collection. Named skyworldin the Wiradjuri language, this collection celebrates the diverse landscape of the Wiradjuri country.

The collection is designed to have one move effortlessly wherever they go,” Denni said. The runway will celebrate the artworks of Gija man Lindsay Malay, Ngarrindjeri Wirangu man Keedan Rigney, and Muruwari Kamilaroun woman Laura Brown.

Ngali brings First Nations artwork to the world through the medium of clothing and collectibles. The word “Ngali” translates to ‘we’ or ‘us’ in several Australian Aboriginal languages. The ethos at the core of Ngali is “Together we create,” with an aim to build a harmonious, sustainable, and equitable union of people with Country and each other .

Attracting international acclaim at a runway event at Milan Fashion Week in 2022, the Ngali label is stocked in David Jones and receives support from Country Road.