The age old saying, “the suit maketh the man,” is being flipped on its head with a new collaboration from Amity Guild, Oscar Hunt Tailors and Aboriginal artist and performer Stan Yarramunua.
Social enterprise Amity Guild partnered with Stan Yarramunua and Oscar Hunt to create a range of suits lined with Indigenous artworks to empower and reflect the man it hugs.
There are six linings each holding their own stories which align with the man stepping into it.
Amity Guild Co-Founder, Benson Saulo said the idea came from conversations with his business partner Aaron McNeily around the need to have First Nations representation in all spheres of change.
“We believe change happens with large social movements and 50,000 people in the streets, but does it also occur when there are five people in a room with their hands on the lever of change?” Mr Saulo asked.
“Wouldn’t it be great to see people in the room that share your values without it being said?”
Wearing a suit since age 15, Mr Saulo said it’s been a powerful part of his approach to his career.
“I pride myself on the fact I don’t closet my Aboriginality. When I step into these boardrooms, I bring my culture.”
“I used to wear three-piece suits, at 22 I worked in business banking. I was often the youngest and only Aboriginal person in the room, along with being a uni dropout. I felt like I was the odd one out a lot,” Mr Saulo said.
“But putting on that suit was almost like putting on armour – having a straight back and walking into meetings with my chin up it was something very powerful and that’s what having a well-made, tailored suit can do to a person’s confidence.”
Artworks featured in the lining of the Oscar Hunt suits were created by artist Stan Yarramunua.
“For me, the power of art is unparalleled – it’s one of the purest forms of storytelling.”
“The selected linings represent a series of narratives that embody courage, integrity, creativity and connection to country. Showcasing Indigenous art is timeless, and a way to connect our past, present and future,” Mr Yarramunua said.
A portion of the profits will be directed into supporting Indigenous artists, according to Mr Saulo.
“We want to see them grow and we want to open doors in the fashion space for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders,” he said.
Amity Guild has plans to extend the designs into female clothing, however, are taking time translating the designs to ensure that the process is completed appropriately and respectfully.
With more First Nations representation in the business world, Mr Saulo hopes that the suits can be an armour for those feeling unsure about their place at the table.
“We want these young people to feel like they fit in and deserve to be where they are because of their hard work and determination,” Mr Saulo said.
“We are making suits for those who share our values; values of courage, creativity, curiosity and culture.”
To view Oscar Hunt’s Amity Guild collection, visit: https://www.oscarhunt.com.au/apparel/amity-guild/.
By Rachael Knowles