Pyer Moss Designer Kerby Jean-Raymond Makes His Own Rules

Updated: May 7, 2019

Kerby Jean-Raymond launched his fashion label, Pyer Moss, in 2013. Jean-Raymond first came into the spotlight for his presentation of Pyer Moss' Spring 2016 Menswear Collection during New York Fashion Week. The show highlighted police brutality, referencing the 'Black Lives Matter' movement through use of video, street art, and fashion. In 2015, at the age of 28, he was listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 in Art & Style. Since then, Pyer Moss has grown tremendously & Kerby Jean-Raymond has decided to maneuver through the fashion industry at the beat of his own drum & no one else's.

2018 was a big year for Pyer Moss. The brand put on one of the most talked about shows at New York Fashion Week, the 2nd installment of its collaboration with Reebok was successful, & Kerby Jean-Raymond won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. Everything about Pyer Moss is fresh & the industry was on the edge of their seats waiting to see what he would do next.

In February of 2019, Jean-Raymond announced that he would not be showing at New York Fashion Week. "I have something to say, but I'm not quite ready to say it." So he decided to sit this one out. Simple as that. His decision to sit this one out was definitely a gamble. Normally, a designer experiencing such tremendous success as Jean-Raymond is currently, would decide to capitalize on the momentum. However, it's obvious that he is not interested in playing by anybody's rules. Instead, it seems he wants to change the rules. “It’s a question of priorities,” said Laurent Claquin, the president of Kering America (Kering is the French conglomerate that owns Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, among other brands) and Mr. Jean-Raymond’s Fashion Fund mentor. The president of Reebok, Matt O'Toole also chimed in stating, "What was clear is that there is purpose behind what he does, because there is purpose behind his brand."

The fact of the matter is that when you have a brand that stands for something in the way that Pyer Moss does, it may be worse to conjure up some fake meaning to put behind a clothing line to satisfy a date than it is to just say nothing at all.

Jean-Raymond says that he'll probably never do the 'two shows a year' thing. He says that no matter what the industry says, or what the normal standards are, it's just not going to happen. He wants to provide the industry with a breath of fresh air. He hopes to create projects that expand the possibilities of how a fashion brand can and should operate. He does this with the release of the short film Seven Mothers, directed by Director X. The film tells the story of the women who helped raise Jean-Raymond after his mother died when he was only seven. Admittedly, the idea of making a fashion film about the effect of a mother’s death on her small child sounds like Jean-Raymond is out of his mind, but that’s a Pyer Moss signature: combine the serious issues he cares about with the less serious business of selling clothes, no matter the risk. “I told everyone on set, ‘We’re not selling clothes. I don’t care about the clothes,’” Jean-Raymond says. “And Eric [McNeal, who styles the brand], he kind of massaged it in. It’s like you’re seeing the style but it’s not overdone.”

Rather than conjuring up a whole new set of "inspirations" for a line for a new season, according to the exhausting logic under which the industry insists designers work, Jean-Raymond expanded upon the ideas he used in his 2nd collection for Reebok in late 2018. That collection was about, as he put it, “being radically normal and black—and what does that look like?”

#PyerMoss #KerbyJeanRaymond #SevenMothers #CFDA #BlackDesignCollective #BlackDesigner

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