Jason Picard-Binet: Carrying Forward Bastien Industries’ Legacy of Authentic Moccasins
From the deep history and culture of the Wendat people, Bastien Industries is bringing the traditional moccasins mainstream. Bastien Industries Owner and a 2023 Aritzia Fashion Grant Recipient, Jason Picard-Binet, shares his entrepreneurial journey and his passion for uplifting tradition to take up space in the fashion industry.
Jason’s business, Bastien Industries, is a family-founded business that designs, manufactures, and distributes 100% Huron Wendat moccasins. Founded in the late 19th century, Bastien Industries has been an intrinsic part of the Wendat Nation. “At one point,” Jason recalls, “almost 80% of Wendat families had some connection to the factory. Knowing that I’m continuing this rich history gives me immense pride and motivates me to elevate our brand further.”
“Since 1878, the Wendat people have been crafting moccasins with the greatest respect for traditional craftsmanship and heritage,” Jason shares. “That heritage is transmitted, one bead at a time, through the careful work of our dedicated and proud team. Our greatest ambition is that our moccasins bring you comfort and style, giving you the freedom to be yourself, everywhere.”
To Jason, Bastien Industries means more than a name or a brand, “It is the flagship of the Huron-Wendat heritage of being the people of trade.” Indigenous design and fashion holds deep history as explained by Jason, “Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have used their clothing to differentiate themselves, to communicate their origins.”
“Authenticity” is the word Jason Picard-Binet chooses when asked about the emotion he wishes to evoke with Bastien Industries’ designs. In a global landscape where Indigenous designs are often misused or misrepresented, Jason aspires for his brand to stand as the hallmark of genuine Indigenous moccasin craftsmanship.
His aspirations for Bastien are crystal clear: “To break into the fashion world. I want our moccasins to be acknowledged for their true value, history, and authenticity.”
When asked about the impact of the Aritzia Indigenous Fashion Grant on Bastien Industries, Jason reflected on the brand’s recent ventures. Just last February, they delved into the B2C sales domain, underwent a significant rebranding, and kickstarted new social media initiatives along with an ecommerce website. He envisions the Aritzia grant as a vital catalyst, planning to channel these funds into developing website marketing and enhancing online sales.
Jason’s message to aspiring Indigenous youth in entrepreneurship is emphatic. “Now is the ideal time for us. Our ancestors worked hard to gain recognition and it’s time for us to use those opportunities to break into the business world. We must take our place everywhere on Turtle Island and beyond.”
With a deep-rooted dedication to tradition and authenticity, Jason Picard-Binet is steering Bastien Industries forward, ensuring its legacy as a beacon of genuine Indigenous craftsmanship and heritage that thrives in the modern era.
To watch Jason’s winning pitch, click here. To register to watch the Pow Wow Pitch Grand Finale on October 19th at 6 PM ET, click here. To read more about the 2023 Aritzia Fashion Grant Recipients, click here. To shop Bastien Industries, click here.