The south east Queensland town of Gympie has a reputation for gold mining, country music and for a culture that is not always inclusive.
And although it’s the home town of designer to the stars, Cindy Vogels, Gympie’s not known for glamour or fashion.
That may be about to change after Cindy collaborated with Gympie photographer Brea Martin to stage three diverse and inclusive fashion shoots in the heart of town.
The shoots feature locally designed and manufactured clothing from Racy & Lucky Cindy’s fashion label that usually #dressesthemusic.
Cindy says she and Brea aimed to ‘showcase the fact that this country town has progressive, creative and diverse young people who are fighting for visibility’.
Hitting the international scene
Avant-garde French fashion magazine Moevir Paris features the photos from one of the shoots this month in a spread titled ‘Giddy up G town’ in its October edition.
Discussions are underway with more international fashion magazines about featuring photos from the other two shoots.
Cindy says the photo shoot is as much about showcasing Gympie as it is about diverse young people.
‘The backdrops are immediately recognisable as Gympie.
‘During the shoot there was a crowd of over 30 people waiting to be served at a cafe watching the fashion shoot.
‘Mouths were agape that morning in Mary St.’
‘It feels timely to expose our region to brave youth culture that ultimately supports their public safety, especially around them being free to express their individual identities and styles of dress,’ says Cindy.
Photographer Brea (who has been published in magazines around the world) says the look they were going for was a blend of Vogue Ukraine meets urban western.
Brea says while the photos are glamourous and playful, there’s a serious intent behind them.
‘Fighting back against racism, bullying and mental health issues is a real struggle for young people, especially in a small town. Acceptance is not easy when battling long held beliefs.’
‘To be showcased in an international fashion magazine like MOEVIR is a testament to the team.’
‘We may be from a small regional town but together we are achieving big things on an international level,’ says Brea.
Model Imogen Winkley said she was elated to be working with Cindy and Brea in the town she grew up in.
‘It brings me immense joy to be able to collaborate with people like Cindy and Brea who are bringing life to our town,’ she said.