House of Darwin are Headed to the Big Smoke


House of Darwin might have only kicked off in 2019, but Shauny Edwards and his social enterprise brand are showing no signs of slowing down.

November is Melbourne Fashion Week, and House of Darwin got the call up to make the hefty 3743km trip to the big smoke to put their distinctive clothing under the bright lights. They also just opened their first flagship store in Darwin earlier this month, where they sling coffees, threads and good times. Oh, and they even teamed up with FilmNeverDie to create a vending machine that sits pretty outside the shop that gives the people of Darwin access to world-class film processing, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to create, no matter how remote they are. All this, while continuing to run social programs for First Nations communities through their profits. It seems like there’s a lot going on for Shauny Edwards, so we checked in on him to see how it’s all going.

Hey Shauny! Heard you’re going headed to the big leagues of Melbourne Fashion Week, how did that came about?
My friend Rhys Ripper was the head stylist for the show that was in Darwin earlier this year. He said we just had to be a part of the next one. That’s it really, so thank you Rhys for connecting the dots.

A fashion show in the big smoke sounds like an alternative universe to the Territory. What does House of Darwin hope to gain from it?
We’re hoping it’s a great opportunity to spread our story and homelands to a broader audience. We hope it inspires people to want to come and experience the lifestyle up here and also want to learn about some of the remote places we run our social programs in.

What social programs have you been running for the kids of late?
Last week we travelled out to Gunbunlanya with AFL superstar Joe Daniher—he kindly donated some of his time in the offseason to visit the community and hang with the kids. It’s always a great thrill to see how excited the kids are to see their favourite player walk into the classroom. This week we’re off to Belyuen and Bagot community to run skateboarding workshops with Build Up, and we’re running mural workshops undercover when it’s time to cool down!

 

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Are you releasing special designs for the show?
We’ve put together our first line of linen shirts which is exciting. We live in the tropics, so everything we make is influenced by what’s happening around us. The rest of the collection is a nostalgic celebration of the yesteryears in the Territory.

What does House of Darwin appearing at Fashion Week mean for First Nations representation within the fashion industry?
Fashion is such a great storytelling device, so I’m really excited to be able to tell the story of where I grew up and where I live through opportunities like Fashion Week. It’s a really important tool for First Nations crew, especially people in remote settings who might not get that kind of exposure otherwise. These things are pretty good at catalysing other opportunities, which is why we’re super excited to be a part of it.

Also, congrats on opening the flagship store in Darwin. Looking very nice. How is that going?
The store is going great—we were lucky enough to work with Akin Atelier to create a wonderful space celebrating the sunsets of the north. We built a five-metre skylight in the roof which we can change colour at any time to change the mood of the room. We also built the clothes racks out of locally sourced rocks from my favourite beach in the NT. They say that brick and mortar is dead, but we believe having great engagement and connection with everyone that comes through has really helped the brand grow.

Sounds like House of Darwin is on the up and up. We’ll check in on you again soon.
Catch ya then, cheers!

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