Kerby Jean-Raymond, the Haitian American designer behind menswear label Pyer Moss, has been woke every since he launched his fashion line in 2013. And over the past five years, he’s presented one collection after another that have provoked thought and social commentary — and have even debuted pieces that have served as forms of protest fashion.
Jean-Raymond’s most memorable moment to date was his Spring 2016 runway show during which he presented a 15-minute video that highlighted police brutality and brought attention to the Black Lives Matter movement among the fashion industry. (He’s also the designer behind the iconic “They Have Names” shirt and designed a custom “Even More Names” version for Colin Kaepernick for his powerful GQ cover.)
This past weekend, Jean-Raymond presented the Pyer Moss Fall/Winter 2018 collection during New York Fashion Week, and it was an event thronged with unquestionable Black empowerment and pride.
The show opened with a live choir singing the plea, “Everything’s got to get better.” The music playlist, which was curated by Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Raphael Saadiq, also set the powerful tone of the show and featured music by artists like Kendrick Lamar and Lalah Hathaway. The choir also sang lyrics like Lamar’s “Every ni**a is a star,” which is a sample from Jamaican musician Boris Gardiner.
In an interview with Highsnobiety, Jean-Raymond said, “We as African American men don’t necessarily feel American. We’re born in this country, but we don’t feel like we belong here. There’s so much divisiveness in today’s political climate that it feels like we’re getting pushed out. We want to tell a story and create an art form here.”
Pyer Moss’ collection, which was named “American Also,” was a walk through American history with a distinct focus on Black history — specifically the Black cowboys of the 19th century. This cowboy reference was evident in the Western-inspired clothing presented on the runway, including a shirt that featured the Cross Colours logo. The shirt also symbolizes the beginning of an upcoming collaboration between the Black-owned ‘90s streetwear brand and Pyer Moss. Additionally, Jean-Raymond introduced womenswear for the first time (although his past designs have been presented for unisex wear).
One of the most exciting aspects of the show was the debut of the label’s upcoming apparel and footwear collection with Reebok. Jean-Raymond first mentioned the highly anticipated collaboration via social media back in November and it was amazing to finally see the dream come to life on the runway. The Americana theme was consistent in this collection as well with designs that included red, white and blue oversized scarves, track pants and star-spangled fur bomber jackets.
Plus, we got a look at the DMX Fusion x Pyer Moss sneakers, which are an updated take on the iconic Reebok Classic DMX Run 10.
Let’s just say, we’ll be rocking any and everything created by Jean-Raymond with an undeniable level of style and pride.