Pow Wow Pitch, North America’s premier pitch competition and non-profit organization supporting emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs, announced a partnership with Aritzia, the vertically-integrated design house with an innovative global platform, to launch and award Aritzia Indigenous Fashion Grants to six emerging Indigenous fashion entrepreneurs.
As part of Aritzia’s corporate commitment to participate in acts of reconciliation with Indigenous people both within its organization and in its communities, the brand has partnered with Pow Wow Pitch for a second year to support Indigenous Fashion entrepreneurs and businesses.
Last year, Pow Wow Pitch introduced a Fashion Category with the support of Aritzia. The partnership included the launch of Indigenous Fashion Grants to recognize and support the next generation of Indigenous entrepreneurs developing apparel, accessory and designer brands and businesses. And this year, Aritzia invited Pow Wow Pitch Founder, Sunshine Tenasco to their offices in Vancouver, BC to partake in a special campaign set to launch for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th, acknowledging the work of Indigenous entrepreneurs and artists across Canada.
Aritzia’s impact is providing not just funds but opportunities to recognize the immense talent and dedication of Indigenous entrepreneurs and together, taking one step forward to reconciliation through creative, cultural and economic empowerment.
On Friday, September 15th, Pow Wow Pitch announced that Aritzia would award three $2,500 grants to each of the 2023 Pow Wow Pitch Fashion Category Winners and $1,000 grants to three additional Pow Wow Pitch Fashion Semi-Finalists to support these emerging Indigenous-owned fashion businesses to grow with a community rallying for their success.
The 2023 Recipients of the Aritzia Indigenous Fashion Grants are:
Jason Picard-Binet, President of Bastien Industries
Jason belongs to Huron Wendat First Nation and operates Bastien Industries operating from Wendake, QC, as a family business creating authentic Indigenous-made beaded and non-beaded leather moccasins.
Dante Biss-Grayson, Founder and Fashion Designer of Sky-Eagle Collection
Belonging to the Osage Nation, Dante operates Sky-Eagle Collection from Taos, New Mexico, USA as a fashion brand that celebrates culture by combining traditional and contemporary styles.
Jodie Moonie, Founder and CEO of Muusa belongs to the Timiskaming First Nation and operates from Notre Dame Du Nord, QC. Muusa creates scrubs for the healthcare industry and partners with Indigenous artists to showcase their talent while elevating workwear.
The 2023 Runner-Up Recipients of the Aritzia Fashion Grants are:
Raphaëlle Langevin, Founder and Designer of Matsheshu Créations, belongs to the Pekuakamiulnuatsh First Nation and operates her business from Mashteuiatsh, QC. Matsheshu Créations designs and promotes the culture of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh and other First Nations by creating fashion that give back to the community.
Jaret Smith, Owner and Founder of Unparalleled Clothing Company belongs to the Métis Nation of Alberta and operates from Calgary, AB. Unparalleled Clothing Company is an Indigenous-owned active-lifestyle brand.
Janelle Alladina, Designer and Founder of Indiginize Creation belongs to Williams Lake Indian Band Shuswap and operates from Port Coquitlam, BC. Indiginize Creation creates custom, freehand designed hats that are a beautiful mix of traditional and modern designs.
“Thank you, Aritzia, for continuing to support emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs, brands and designers through Pow Wow Pitch as part of your ongoing efforts to take action on the Truth and Reconciliation report recommendations. By listening, learning and collaborating, we have the opportunity to support the growth of the global Indigenous fashion industry,” said Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch. “Congratulations to Jason, Dante, Jodie, Raphaëlle, Jaret and Janelle for being selected as this year’s Aritzia Indigenous Fashion Grant Recipients! Recognition by a brand like Aritzia is an accomplishment to be proud of! We know you will take this grant and opportunity to reach new heights for your business and community.”
To watch the 2023 Pow Wow Pitch Fashion Semi-Finals, click here.