Designer Kerby Jean-Raymond continues to put on for the culture.
His Pyer Moss runway show, which took place in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn on Saturday night (Sep 8) at Weeksville Heritage Center, was hands down the Blackest show of all of NYFW. Although it was a rainy day, that didn’t stop all the fashion folks and celebrities from making their way to the historic venue 11 miles outside of the city.
Kerby continues to celebrate what it means to be Black in America. His Spring 2019 collection , titled “American, Also. Lesson two,” was inspired by a travel guide, The Negro Motorist Green Book, which was published yearly from 1936 through 1966 to help Black travelers navigate racist towns and find establishments who would welcome African-Americans during segregation.
This collection was special in particular because Pyer Moss not only has a very successful partnership with Reebok, it celebrated its 5-year anniversary, and Jean-Raymond recently took full ownership of his brand and its creative direction.
The show also featured an all-Black cast along with an all-Black choir. Kerby collaborated with African-American artist Derek Adams and curated 10 paintings that were woven throughout the collection, including a flower girl at a wedding and a dress that featured a painting of a man holding his child with Swarovski crystals dazzling throughout.
Everything about the show was an ode to Black culture from the show taking place at Weeksville Heritage Center, which was a town founded by James Weeks in 1838, a few years after slavery was abolished in New York, to the choir who swag surfed as the models came down the runway. There was a model in traditional hijab, rapper Sheck Wes opened while activist and model Ebonee Davis looked like a angel goddess, as she closed the show. The hairstyles were also an ode to the culture, including models who donned in dreads, fros and braids.
One of the highlights of the night was a collaboration with the '90s Black heritage label, FUBU. It featured a yellow leather biker vest with the iconic FUBU logo on the front. Kerby told the Hollywood Reporter, "Part of what I want to do is highlight American designers who have not been considered designers because they are urban." Fubu grossed hundreds of millions in their prime but wasn’t recognized because they were considered urban, not fashion.
The line featured flowy silk gowns, pleated skirts, T-shirts with embroidery that said, “Do not call 911 on the culture,” and a men’s silk cummerbund that says, “See us now?” making note of the recent racist activities Black folks have endured for simply having a barbecue or hanging out in the park.
The designer hosted a cookout after the show with traditional Caribbean dishes, such as jerk chicken, plantains, beef patties and drinks by Hennessy, which embraces our culture to the fullest.
Overall, this show was truly an important moment in fashion history, and we cannot wait to see what Pyer Moss has in store for us next year.