On Thursday, Kerby Jean-Raymond will become the first Black-American designer to show at Paris Couture Fashion Week. The July 8 showing is to be live-streamed from Villa Lewaro, the Hudson River estate built by entrepreneur and philanthropist Madam C.J. Walker to serve as a gathering place for leaders of the Harlem Renaissance. Jean-Raymond was invited to be a guest member of the official Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, and as such, he’ll be required to assemble a collection of at least 25 authentic looks and will employ a studio with 20 full-time staff members.
In preparation for the exciting event, Jean-Raymond shared via his personal Instagram a compilation of photos displaying the extensive process, including models in unfinished silhouettes, the insole of a new shoe design and even himself taking calls while on the go.
Jean-Raymond has accumulated a premium client roster, being worn by Tracee Ellis Ross, Elaine Welteroth and Vice-President Kamala Harris to name a few. His last NYFW was the most buzzed online directed from his “American Also” campaign for a compelling show addressing the erasure of Black narratives in pop culture.
In the video above, models strutted across the walkway to the sound of a powerful full-sized choir singing Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love,” Missy Eliott’s “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” Foxy Brown’s “I’ll Be Good,” Donny Hathaway’s “Little Ghetto Boy” plus many other timeless Black anthems at Brooklyn’s Kings Theater. After a two-year hiatus, the label will make its return to September’s NYFW with a ready to wear collection debut.
Prior to this momentous achievement, the historic breaking designer was recognized in May by Parsons School Of Design in, “celebrating (his) inspiring vision as a fashion designer and advocacy for equity and social justice in the fashion industry and beyond.”