As my plane takes off I gaze out my window upon Lanepehoking, where New York City now sits, it dawns on me what we have actually witnessed over the last couple of weeks.
Thanks to the generosity of Roy Hill and Paspaley, myself and the NIT lifestyle team have had the privilege of leading a delegation of creatives as they made their debuts at New York Fashion Week.
While the glitz and the glamour of fashion week did not disappoint, it was witnessing our homegrown creatives promote and develop their businesses in an international market that excited us the most.
True to its reputation, New York inspired the team to join the hustle.
Fast pace, crowded spaces and traffic upon traffic noise can make it hard to hear yourself in this city but our creatives held their own and navigated their way through like it was mapped out in the stars, each with their own path and own goals to achieve .
Meetings included those with officials such as the Consulate General Nick Greiner who graciously welcomed us into his home and took the time to speak with each creative personally about their journey’s and their desire to become a part of the US market.
His insight and eagerness to encourage and share his networks was humbly received by the group with many speaking of next steps as we departed his premises.
Most thankfully received was a meeting with Australian Consul-General & Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner Australian Investment and Trade Commission (Austrade), Benson Saulo.
Saulo a descendant of the Wemba Wemba and Gunditjmara Indigenous nations of Western Victoria, and New Ireland Province in Papua New Guinea gave us some time among his busy schedule to speak about the relationship between Australia and the US and gave his perspective on growing the trade market in art and fashion.
Opportunities continued to present themselves over the two weeks with thanks to the savvy networking capabilities of our creatives with some receiving invitations to future shows and building relationships with buyers, editors and CEOs of major fashion houses and publications like Essence magazine and agents like Elite Models.
To say you were a part of New York Fashion Week once is cool, but the game changer is this, building real and sustainable business relationships and connecting those businesses to international trade.
This is where we are seeing our creatives take their arts, their skills and their passions and translating that into economic empowerment.
To witness this in action was something truly special and the way forward for our mob in the art and fashion industry.
- Shannon McGuire is the National Indigenous Times’ lifestyle managing editor