This Beloved Aboriginal-Owned Label Is Opening A Flagship Store In BNE
Contemporary connectionsBy Dinushka Gunasekara | 29th August 2023
In the crossover between storytelling, social impact, and statement-making fashion lies Magpie Goose – the proudly Aboriginal-owned label creating economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in beautiful ways.
Each garment of this beloved label features contemporary Aboriginal art ethically screen-printed by hand right here in Australia. And now with the opening of Magpie Goose’s flagship store on the bustling King Street, the team can continue their mission of connecting more people with Indigenous culture, while providing a platform for artists and their communities.
Below, we spoke to owner and Managing Director of Magpie Goose Amanda Hayman (Kalkadoon/Wakka Wakka) about their ethos, new collection, and the carefully curated details of their Brisbane store…
What inspired Magpie Goose?
Our mission is to help create the best version of Australia. We believe this will be achieved through a deeper connection with Aboriginal people and culture. We bought the brand from the founders a few years ago as we were both aligned to the idea that fashion/wearable art is an accessible conversation starter or access point for deeper cultural learning.
How would you describe the Magpie Goose wearer?
Our customers are initially attracted to the bright, bold prints, and once they learn the story behind the artwork and the business they’re hooked! They have a passion for sustainable fashion, and even more for social change. They love art, and they’re proud to share Aboriginal culture everyday by what they wear.
Tell us about your latest collection…
We’ve just finished dropping each of the prints of the Ardyaloon collection. The Ardyaloon collection comes from the Ardyaloon/One Arm Point community on Bardi Jawi Country. It’s 2500km north of Perth, two-and-a-half hours drive north of Broome, and is located on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula, in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia. The artists from this community share stories about their Country: seasons, bush fruits, reef shells, the best time to go crabbing according to the tide and moon, whales (miniimbi), dugongs (odorr), crayfish (joodarn), and so much more!
Why did you choose King Street for your flagship store?
King Street is a thriving hub in Bowen Hills and was missing the one thing we could provide – a place to connect deeply with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and art. We’re thrilled to join the exciting King Street precinct along with other great retailers, bars and restaurants. By welcoming visitors to the store on a daily basis, we hope to spark more conversations, more learning, and more exploring of the rich stories of our collaborating artists.
Describe the design of the store…
We were privileged to be a part of the design process through our other business Blaklash. We co-designed the flagship store with architectural design practice, Hogg and Lamb, which was realised through the generous support from Lendlease. Blaklash approaches design with Country framework to synthesise stories of place, narratives of community, and the essences of Country in meaningful, sophisticated and deliverable spatial outcomes. Mandandanji woman Erin McDonald – the Design and Interiors Principal at Blaklash – led the design process.
Lardil man Gareth Robertson of Blackwood Collective crafted a four-metre artisan table for the centre of the store. Made from Tasmanian blackwood, the table acts as an invitation into the Magpie Goose home – a place where one can sit down, have a cuppa and a yarn. With each garment telling a story, there is a lot to share at the table. From this centrepiece, the rest of the design was imagined.
The store features repurposed boulders from the local area. The beautiful multi-coloured rock is tuff, ubiquitous with Magandjin/Meanjin (Brisbane), and most visible at the Kangaroo Point cliffs. The rest of the store leans into natural tones and simple design features to keep the spotlight on the bold and vibrant Magpie Goose garments that are well-known and loved.
Tell us more about Magpie Goose’s social impact…
We return our profits to the Aboriginal artists who design our fabrics. Since inception, we’ve returned more than $500,000 in royalty payments to artists in remote communities. In doing so, we’ve created new opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the art, fashion and textiles industries.
Shop Magpie Goose online here or visit their store at Shop 5, 30 King Street, Bowen Hills from 2 September.