by Rachel Vancelette for Urban Mindz
The Pyer Moss label burst onto the fashion scene in 2013 challenging the traditional runway presentation with a focus on social injustice by pushing boundaries in unique and unconventional ways. The label defines itself as a collaborative 'Art Collective' pushing dialogues and ongoing debates focused on the importance of creativity, activism and storytelling. The experimental presentations over the years continue to infuse the clothes with vibrant narratives as though they have their own life and story to tell.
Activist/Artist/Designer Kerby Jean-Raymond, the mastermind behind the Pyer Moss label, continues to design for his audiences with an inspired fusion of classic and futuristic streetwear and sportswear. Using collaborations and inspiration from contemporary artists such as Derrick Adams, (“Family Portrait 2018”) for instance, to studying and drawing inspiration from legendary artists like Spike Jones (Met Gala 2019), Stevie Wonder and Grace Jones, Jean-Raymond creates styles that are more than just fashionable, they are symbolic.
Always tapping into the authentic heartbeat of urban culture, the clothing itself is a lesson in refinery with bold details and a brazen approach to apparel artistry, incorporating unconventional performative elements that ignite the clothing on each and every model. This previously unseen creative model of new runway experiences is coveted by top celebrities and fashion elite as the must-see show of each fashion week. The rebel designer refuses to play by the rules and enjoys creating unexpected and sometimes uncomfortable dialogues each season utilizing important current events and uniting artists and creatives.
Jean-Raymond's unique approach has impressed the industry and caught the eye of every top buyer. The fearless designer has continued to rise since his debut 2016 runway show which caught the eye of many, focusing the presentation on a film about police brutality. The subject caused some buyers to pull out of the show that season, yet he continued to forge ahead. He revels in designing for all genders and ages with sophisticated layering, tailoring, color blocking, defined textures and rich fabrics. One step ahead of the times, one could say, the Pyer Moss label stays on the daily pulse of today's contemporary culture creating extraordinary unique designs for his audience, buyers and now the masses.
Drawing new inspiration every year, this vibrating voice attracts a flock of new celebrity and fashion followers who line up early. Jean-Raymond has won the prestigious CFDA award just this year, and now mingles with names such as Anna Wintour and other famous followers which can be seen on his personal Instagram. Actors, musicians, artists and celebrities all have taken notice, including Swizz Beatz, Janet Jackson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Lala Anthony, Gabrielle Union-Wade and even Michelle Obama who continues to indulge in the articulate design elements of color and shape in each and every exclusive piece.
Big brand retailers and labels like Reebok, (Reebok Men’s by Pyer Moss) are taking a huge interest. Affordable, bold, brilliantly-colored streetwear is now accessible for the masses and are released and presented “when they are ready”, rather than during industry-set release dates for the traditional spring and fall cycles. February drew concerns when the label was absent, but the studio was in full motion creating for the September debut.
The Museum of Modern Art considers Kerby Jean-Raymond a “contemporary artist” presenting him in an exhibition “Is Fashion Modern?”, breaking barriers in the ongoing dialogue of 'is fashion really art?' The Haiti Embassy recently embraced the designer noting Jean-Raymond on their website by marking Pyer Moss as a brand to watch. Featured on top lists including 'Forbes 30 under 30 list', Ebony’s Future 14 Award and others since the launch of the brand, the limited and exclusive line continues to elevate itself as a “timely social experiment.”
Embraced internationally and produced both in Italy and New York, Jean-Raymond's Spring 2020 fashion show held at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn was a triumph! The presented collaboration for Collection 3, the “American Also” series, highlighted painter Richard Phillips who spent 45 years incarcerated for a crime he did not commit, while also paying homage to Sister Rosetta Tharpe as he presented ‘The Pyer Moss Tabernacle Drip Choir Drenched in The Blood’, which took over the theater.
The new ready-to-wear Pyer Moss collection set for 2020 captivated audiences with stunning new pieces in vivid colors for long-time loyalists to covet and embrace for years to come, and from the size of the crowd that attended the Spring 2020 show, Pyer Moss' fan base will continue to grow.