Two Aboriginal designers are bringing their clothing collection from the red dust of the Pilbara to the runway at Paris Fashion Week on 30 September.
The collaboration between Nyungar woman and Deadly Denim owner Rebecca Rickard and Ngarluma, Karriyarra, Yawuru, Nyulnyul artist Bobbi Lockyer features eight outfits that pay homage to their Aboriginal roots and connections, matched with custom made earrings by Ms Lockyer’s sister Skye.
Ms Lockyer said she’s “excited to see Aboriginal Australia represented” alongside some of the world’s most luxurious brands in Paris.
“I keep pinching myself, it doesn’t feel real,” she said.
“It’s a shame we can’t be there cause it would have been pretty amazing.”
It’s not the first time the pair have sent their collection off to a world-class fashion event.
Earlier this year, Ms Lockyer joined four other Indigenous artists in a New York Fashion Week collaboration with Deadly Denim, which featured their designs on the brand’s signature recycled jackets.
“But for Paris, Rebecca asked me if I just wanted to do it with her alone and create our own outfits,” Ms Lockyer said.
“We really love 70s fashion and floral vibes so we were like, 'Let’s do floral and but let’s make it different, with native flowers from Australia.'”
Ms Lockyer’s favourite piece in their collection is the desert pea design which represents the Pilbara and her culture.
The pair were selected in May as ‘Ones to Watch’ for a competition run by New York-based retail service Flying Solo, which provides a platform for new independent designers from 26 countries to take part in the biggest fashion weeks around the world.
“We are both so proud to have been selected as one of 10 designers from hundreds of applications,” Ms Rickard said.
Brands who were selected were required to pay a fee of just over $8,000 AUD to have their work showcased at Parisian venue Salons Marceau this year.
“There was quite a big registration fee, so we did a sale,” Ms Lockyer said.
Ms Lockyer and Ms Rickard whipped up an entirely new design to sell on denim jackets in order to crowdfund enough money to participate in Paris Fashion Week.
“I think within 48 hours we had the money,” Ms Lockyer said.
“The community really got behind us. We even had some high-profile influencers and celebrities like Clementine Ford sharing it, which was pretty cool.”
While it’s been a stressful process, Ms Lockyer said “it’s going to be so worth it”.
Their show is being curated by Flying Solo whose last two seasons drew an additional audience of more than 10 million.
“We honestly don't even know what we're gonna see or how it's gonna look, but we can't wait,” Ms Lockyer said.
Ms Lockyer and Ms Rickard will be watching their clothes grace the Paris catwalk via live stream on Thursday night.
As for the future, Ms Rickard said they plan to “keep growing this deadly label and the community around it.”
Ms Lockyer is also hoping to launch an independent label next year.
“I’ve always wanted to go into fashion so it’s pretty wild that it’s happened like this before I’ve even launched a label or anything."