Meet inspired black designer Kerby Jean-Raymond. He is the founder and creative director of the luxury fashion brand Pyer Moss. The name Pyer Moss is a dedication to his family; it is a combination of his mother’s last names, both Haitian and American. Jean-Raymond started the brand in 2013 and has been building a global presence ever since, redefining and challenging the role [of fashion] in menswear and womenswear.
The Pyer Moss label has designed athleticwear in collaboration with Reebok. Some of his accolades include a Fashion Group International Rising Star Award: Menswear in 2014, he was listed in Forbes 30 under 30 in 2015, and he won the CFDA Fashion Fund prize in 2018. He describes his brand Pyer Moss as an “art collective.” He says, “The messages change periodically, and it goes by different things that I care about. My whole thing is patriotism and what does patriotism mean for black people. We use fashion, film, music, everything to drive whatever message home that we feel is important to the time and what people actually need.”
He goes on to say, “I think what’s amazing about Pyer Moss is that we’ve formed an amazing community of like-minded people. We haven’t tried the trends; we haven’t tried to like become the next big thing. We’re really just doing what makes sense to us.”
His latest project involves three collections and an upcoming short film. In talking about his inspiration for his latest designs he said, “From collection one to three, it’s part of a thesis, [I use] these three collections to take ownership of things that are like stereotypical American. Rock and Roll, Cowboy culture, family values, and really show how it originated from black[ness] and that we should have a sense of pride in everything that is American as well.”
The sense of pride permeates the entire production and with good reason. Each of the shows featured live instrumentation and a choir that performed hits and original songs. “We started an all black opera,” Jean-Raymond said. “I’ve been building my choir since 2015. It’s the Pyer Moss Tabernacle Drip Choir Drenched in the Blood of Jesus and every season we’ve just been getting bigger and bigger.”
The dedication to details is impressive, the talent is immaculate, and the vibes are all the way right. “Because I’m looking for a specific feeling and a specific energy, I don’t want anything to be too rehearsed.” Jean-Raymond explained. “I don’t want anything to feel too staged or too polished. I want everybody to be their authentic selves.”
A standout moment from this body of work was seeing the marquee sign of the Kings Theatre read, Kerby Jean-Raymond Presents ‘Sister the Third Collection by Pyer Moss.’ The decision to have the Third Collection’s show at Kings Theatre was a not so subtle reminder that it was, in fact, a space that black people were banned from.
In May, the trailer for the upcoming film “America, Also” – A Pyer Moss Film was released. The film will explore the thesis Jean-Raymond’s last three collections were based upon. “We’re more than a statistic, we’re more than the bad story, we’re more than killings, we’re more than that,” Jean-Raymond says in the trailer for his upcoming film. “I’m really showing it for us. So the way I see you, is not the way that somebody who’s not of our culture is going to see you. And I want you to know, deliberately, that I’m speaking to you versus everybody else.”
A beautiful sentiment indeed. To view the runway shows or fashions visit PyerMoss.com.
If you are wondering when the next show will be, don’t. “I’m gonna show again when I feel like it.” Jean-Raymond said. “I’m in no rush. I can’t promise you a show every six months. I can’t promise you one every year. I’ll just do another one when I feel like it and when I feel like I’m ready to say what we need to say.”