Kim Picard creates men’s, women’s and children’s small-run custom and ready-to-wear clothing, as well as providing alteration and styling/consulting services. Her work, which is inspired by her Indigenous culture, is designed and made in Quebec. Picard describes her work as “…both classic and modern, with lots of Aboriginal symbolism.”
Picard was born to an Innu mother and Anishinaabe/Kanien’kéha:ka father on the Pessamit First Nations reserve.
Identifying most with her Innu heritage, Picard began designing and sewing clothing as a young girl after watching her grandmother make garments, quilts and moccasins.
In 1994, she had the opportunity to work with Paul-Émile and Madeleine Dominque creating costumes for the Pessamit Inter-Band Games; the experience inspired her to pursue a career in fashion.
Picard studied Fashion Design at LaSalle College (1994-1997), and obtained a certificate in Marketing Management from McGill University (1997-1998). After her studies, she worked for a number of fashion designers and companies in Montreal including Roots Canada, Native Innovation Design, and Hélène de Grandpré. She took a five-year break from the fashion industry to work for Femmes Autochtones du Quebec (FAQ), an association that defends the interests of Indigenous women, their families and their communities.
In 2010, Picard established her fashion company in Montreal. She often develops designs based on symbolism and animals she sees in dreams. She is also inspired by contemporary designers like Versace, Roberto Cavalli and Alexander McQueen.
Her Indigenous roots are important to her creations; Picard has said,
“I want to show people the beauty of our culture. I want our culture to be alive in modern clothing. Our native culture is not only in the past or the museums, it can be anywhere.”
In 2011, she moved her operations to Quebec City before returning to her home in Betsiamites on the Pessamit reserve in 2016. She set up her workshop in her late grandmother’s home, where her love of designing and making clothing was born. As of 2018, Picard has decided to switch her focus from running a full-time fashion business to concentrating on projects involving her community, her activism and her love of nature. Her Facebook page states that she continues to design and make clothing, but in a more unconstrained, artistic manner.
Throughout her career in fashion, Picard has won numerous awards and organized Indigenous fashion shows. She participated in fashion shows at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics as part of the Aboriginal Artisan Village and Business Showcase.
Debi, Tanya. “Up Close and Personal: More with Aboriginal designer, Kim Picard” Undone Magazine, Undone Magazine, https://undonemagazine.wordpress.com/portfolio/up-close-and-personal-more-with-aboriginal-designer-kim-picard/. 2018.