Monday, July 15, 2024

Next Generation of Indigenous Models: Meet Hayley Mulardy

New Aboriginal Model Carving Her Career

A proud Karajarri woman from Bidyadanga community south of Broome, Next Generation Aboriginal model Hayley Mulardy walked the runway at Australian Fashion Week for the first time this year. When she’s not modelling she works as a Park Ranger in the Karajarri area. We asked Hayley about that first-time experience and where she’d like to take her modelling career.

What have been some of the most exciting or challenging experiences you’ve had as a new model?
The one thing I’ve faced both exciting and challenging is probably the travelling, only because I’m a community kid and I never travelled so far on a plane without my family. Also I’ve spent my whole life in communities and small towns so, big cities especially is not my thing but I also love it because there’s so much that I haven’t seen before which is amazing. 

Indigenous Model Hayley Mulardy
Hayley Mulardy modelling a Iordanes Spyridon Gorgos design at Australian Fashion Week 2024. Photographer: Jaimee Heath

Who are your role models in the fashion industry, and how have they influenced your journey?
Well I’m not too sure about this question because I haven’t gotten to know many people who stood out to me much. There is Cindy Rostron who I’ve been watching before I became a model. Cindy just has so much confidence & elegance as a young local, even when I first met her, she was the most nicest person ever. 

I know this is probably obvious but the main person who stood out to me was our mentor, the first Aboriginal model to feature on a Vogue cover, Elaine George. I mean, she was the first Indigenous women on a Vogue cover. I mean, who wouldn’t look up to her? It’s not just that but before I met her, I thought “Okay Hayley, you’re meeting a legend. You have to be professional.” But to my surprise she was just the loveliest person. I loved that I could be myself around her.  Even when she talks in interviews, she just says things so smoothly, like she’s having an actual yarn with you. I just love every bit about her and I do hope we make her proud. 

Indigenous Model

As an Aboriginal model, what was it like walking in Australian Fashion Week for the first time as an Aboriginal Model?
Walking at AFW for the first time was just a dream come true and walking for an even more amazing designer,  I felt like I was the most luckiest Aboriginal girl out there. I will never forget my first time. 

What was the most memorable moment for you during AFW?

I loved every bit of it. From as soon as I landed in Sydney to when we took off. It was all memorable for me.

I especially loved walking besides my girls, Aunty Elaine & Calli-Rose. To be honest, I reckon I’d be lost if they weren’t there with me. I also loved it whenever Aunty Elaine introduced to some of the people she worked with. She introduced us as her “Babies”. I felt so emotional. I made sure to make her proud at the end of it all, not just her but also to Teagan Cowlishaw who I knew would’ve been proud. 

Are there any particular designers you would be excited to model for?
Oh my goodness, I don’t know, where do I start?  There’s Clair Helen, David Jones, Liandra, Gammin Threads, Miimi and Jiinda, Clothing the Gaps, Lillardia Briggs Houston, Ngarru Miimi, Aarli Fashion & lots more. I would be above and beyond if they got to see what I can bring to the table, it might even surprise them. 

Indigenous Model Hayley Mulardy
Image: Courtesy Blaklist Agency

The Blaklist Next Gen modelling program has helped launch your career. What do you think are some of its most valuable lessons for an Indigenous model?
Valuable lessons I’ve learnt include that you can have fun, you don’t have to be serious all the time and whatever comes your way, just be grateful and take it. Life’s too short to be saying “no”. 

“Live the life you love”. 

What value or impact would you like to have on the modelling industry as a Aboriginal model?
I’d like to show them what Indigenous Aboriginal girls are made of and hope other young girls can build that confidence to step up, especially here in the Kimberley. We may have lost our way of living but our culture stands strong.

Featured Image: Hayley Mulardy modelling Family Country Robe by Nagula Jarndoo. Photo by Michael Jalaru Torres

Hayley was interviewed by Rosaria Rita Daniel.

Did you see: New Talent Shines on the Runway ?
See more at: Top Aboriginal Models

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