Over recent years, Pyer Moss has gained notoriety as one of the most exciting and progressive designer currently circulating the industry. Established in 2013, he’s developed a devoted fanbase due to the undercurrent of activism which the clothing carries.
It was announced this week that Pyer Moss’ founder, Haitian-American Kerby Jean-Raymond, will show on the official Haute Couture calendar in Paris. The city will be opening up to celebrate couture this July. This comes after the third city-wide lockdown which has disturbed the 2021 fashion schedule.
A successful SS20 show, Lesson Three, titled “Sister” was a major feat of success.
“Taking up space at ‘Kings Theater’ presenting a musical of sorts in homage to the ‘Godmother of Rock N’ Roll’ Sister Rosetta Thorpe and Black women in music, this was the fashion show experience at its peak. The collection prior to that took place at the Weeksville Heritage Center. Weeksville, founded by James Weeks in 1838, is one of the country’s first free-black communities.”Source: Grazia
The First Black American
Jean-Raymond is the first Black American designer to accept the invitation from the French organising body, having been invited by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode to feature as a guest member on the AW21 calendar. Other unmissable couture events include a one-off Jean Paul Gaultier Couture collection by Sacai’s Chitose Abe and Balenciaga’s first foray into haute couture. Pyer Moss will also revisit the NY runway with the debut of “Collection 4”. The Collection will debut in New York during the second week of September, following the Met-Gala. This presentation is Pyer Moss’ first appearance after a two year absence from NYFW.
“In the last two years, Kerby Jean-Raymond, the founder of Pyer Moss, has become something of a New York Fashion Week star, famous for taking the African-American experience and putting it front and center on the runway, using such inspiration figures as the black cowboy and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.”Source: nytimes
A Politically Charged Message
Kamala Harris picked the politically-charged label for a COVID-19 memorial prior to the presidential inauguration. The label has also been helping during the pandemic, transforming its New York office into a donation centre. Jean-Raymond has set aside $50,000 to help minority groups and female-owned businesses amidst the pandemic.
Jean-Raymond has placed the African-American experience at the centre of his craft, gaining instant notoriety after a 2016 fashion show which saw him open with a long video citing police brutality against the Black community.
“He almost went out of business after a show that opened with a 12-minute video about police brutality titled “This Is an Intervention.” It featured interviews with the relatives of many of the black men who had been killed by police: Eric Garner, Marlon Brown, Sean Bell. Praised and excoriated in almost equal measure, the show thrust the then largely unknown label into the spotlight, and was the first time a designer forced fashion to grapple with its own culpability regarding race.”Source: nytimes
He began his career as an apprentice at only 14 years of age whilst attending The High School of Fashion Industries in Manhattan. He established his first label, called ‘Mary’s Jungle’ and the age of 15. Instructed by Kay Unger, he helped Unger with her first women’s evening collection. Jean-Raymond won the FGI Rising Star Award in 2014 for his menswear collection. He was recognised in the Fprbed 30 under 30 list in 2015 and was featured on the cover of Culted Magazines’s Fashion issue in April 2019. Shortly thereafter, an announcement late in 2020 informed fans that he’d been appointed as vice president of creative direction at Reebok. This came after Reebok responded to calls for brands with social consciousness.
“Pyer Moss has long been a brand that wears its activist leanings on its sleeve, as well as celebrating Jean-Raymond’s own Haitian-American heritage.While he’s lent his talents to Reebok before, with some notable Pyer Moss x Reebok collaborations and a stint has the artistic director of Rebook’s talent incubator, we’re v excited to see what he’ll be throwing down in this more permanent role.”Source: syrupaus
This role has seen Jean-Raymond overseeing design strategy and global marketing initiatives for the brand since. Footwear fans will be waiting until 2022 to see what Jean-Raymond creates for Reebok however. If Jean-Raymond’s statement on Instagram is accurate, we can expect big things.
“To my Reebok fam. There’s a lot of work to do. Can our mindsets collectively evolve to serve the future? Are we inclusive enough? Are we bold enough? Are we challenging tradition enough? Are we ready to unlearn? It’s going to be difficult. I’m ready though.”
Paris Haute Couture Week will take place from July 5 to July 8.
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