Look out New York, Paris and Milan – ‘Blind Grit’ is out there and heading your way!
Blind Grit is the label and brainchild of Australia’s first legally blind fashion designer, Nikki Hind, and with the help of Ability Linkers at North West Alliance partner Intereach, Nikki has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for her first ‘for sale’ fashion line aimed at the athleisure wear market.
Nikki’s designs have already featured on the catwalk at Melbourne Fashion Week and have received attention from the New York Times, but creating a complete fashion line from scratch is expensive and time intensive.
It was pure chance that brought Nikki in contact with Jarrod, an Ability Linker at Intereach.
“By luck I was handed one of Nikki’s business cards and told to give her a call as she may be able to provide mentoring for participants,” Jarrod says.
“I called her and set up a meeting, and was so overwhelmed by what she was trying to achieve that I pulled out all stops to help her.”
Jarrod was able to broker the initial seed funding to shoot her crowdfunding video, and with the assistance of the rest of the local Linker team was able to get over 20 volunteers who all have disability or trauma backgrounds to participate in the shoot.
The video was shot at Albury Wodonga’s Jazz Basement over a six-hour period on 11 November 2018, with the volunteers participating as make-up artists, photographers and models.
Nikki described the event as “being like a bride at a wedding”.
“I loved our cool venue. I loved our moody smoke spray. I loved my face – I nearly cried having to wash away such an amazing work of art,” she says.
Now that the video has been made, the crowdfunding campaign is well and truly under way.
Nikki aimed to raise at least $7,000 to launch her line, with any extra money raised going towards paying the volunteers for their time. As this article was being prepared Nikki had already raised more than $9,000, so she is well on her way.
Last but not least, look out for the signature ‘Grit and bare it’ T-shirts – they will make a nice addition to this year’s Christmas stockings!