Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Future Faces of Modelling; Indigenous Males Making Their Mark on the Catwalk

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Future Faces of Modelling; Indigenous Males Making Their Mark on the Catwalk

Article excerpt

Byline: Roz Pulley

JARRON Andy was a house painter until recently. Nauma Wren is a second-year apprentice builder.

But the construction industry isn't the only thing they have in common.

Both are young indigenous males and the future face of Australian fashion.

They were among two dozen indigenous models who shone a light on the creations of 10 fashion collections at the eighth annual Cairns Indigenous Art Fair yesterday.

It's 12 months since Jarron's aunt suggested he give the catwalk a whirl - and opened a world of opportunity for him. Nauma is taking his first tentative steps into the public arena after being nudged into modelling by a friend of his mum's.

"CIAF is where it all started for me," says 24-year-old Jarron.

"An aunty of mine told me they didn't have enough guys last year, so I put my hand up, had a crack and the rest is history."

No sooner had CIAF finished than the former Innisfail footy player became the 2016 Autumn Winter Face of Cairns Central and the first male indigenous model signed to Dallys Models in Brisbane.

Jarron was cast in the Global Indigenous Runway at Melbourne Fashion Festival in March and will be at the Pacific International Runway at Sydney in October.

"It's uncharted waters for an indigenous male model and I've taken it upon myself to be the first to chart these waters," he says.

"It's something to be really proud of. Guys have always been too ashamed and lack confidence in themselves."

Despite his recent arrival on the scene, Jarron is already mentoring others.

"Whenever I wind up among blokes, I encourage them to have a go. Nauma is doing CIAF for the first time this year. He's the same background as me - construction. I told him 'if this is something you want to do, go for it'. I'm not looking back any more. …

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