It's Black History Month and we can't not talk about Kerby Jean-Raymond... A pioneer in not only the fashion industry but also in taking a stand against injustices in the Black community, Kerby Jean-Raymond is the founder and creative director of label Pyer Moss, based in New York and is the epitome of Black excellence.
He and his fashion label hit the world stage during the Spring/Summer 2016 season, when his show highlighted police brutality, referencing the Black Lives Matter movement. Jean-Raymond featured video, street art, and fashion to shine a light on the truth of what was happening and he continues to do just that.
As far as historical figures go, Jean-Raymond is hard to forget. By highlighting to the fashion industry and the world, the social injustice, systemic racism, and police brutality faced by Black people, Jean-Raymond has a voice and it's unmistakably heard.
Fashion was always the goal
Jean-Raymond was born to Haitian parents in Brooklyn and studied fashion at the High School of Fashion Industries in New York between 2000 and 2004. Before attending Hofstra University, he interned at Marchesa and Theory. In 2008, he graduated with a BA in business administration and for a time, toyed with the idea of being a lawyer, attending Brooklyn Law School for a semester before dropping out.
Known for his provocative showmanship, Jean-Raymond loves to engage with the past, present, and future of the Black American experience and weaves personal storytelling into every creation.
Founded in 2013, Pyer Moss was a vehicle that Jean-Raymond would use to bring art and activism together to bring narratives out into the public light to show both Black joy and Black pain.
Pyer Moss collaborated with Reebok in 2018 to create a collection called "Reebok by Pyer Moss". In that same year, Jean-Raymond was also nominated for the CFDA's Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent for his Autumn/Winter 2018 collection, which was debuted to critical acclaim. The label won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion fund in 2018. Ending 2018 on a high, in December, Jean-Raymond also won Collaboration of the Year for his work with Reebok at the Footwear News Achievement Awards. Source: Business of Fashion.
Kerby Jean-Raymond hasn't stopped since then. In 2020, he won both the CFDA Award for Menswear Designer of the Year and a Harlem’s Fashion Row award for Designer of the Year. He also announced in September 2020 that a new progressive partnership with Kering was in development called "Friends in New York". It is a platform and organization that will help young designers, particularly those in the BIPOC community. In Jean-Raymond's words, so they can "have a fair shake" and advance in the fashion industry... that's sustainable long-term.
With no plans to have a show on the runway anytime soon, Jean-Raymond is working on his own schedule. Some of his most amazing performances include his celebration of the Black cowboy for fall 2018 to his portrayal of "Black people doing normal things" at the Weeksville (one of the country's first free-Black communities) spring 2019 show.
And let's not forget his musical homage to Black creativity and Sister Rosetta Tharpe at the King's Theater in Flatbush, his old neighborhood (Source: Vogue).
Kerby Jean-Raymond wants to continue to move forward. He wants to share new stories, cultivate and grow new communities. And as he likes to say, "see you in the new world."
Thank you so much for enlightening me about this wonderful young man Kerby Jean-Raymond.
Thank you for bringing Kerby Jean-Raymond to the forefront of Black History Month.
It’s amazing to know that there are young black man out here who are making history.