The fashion gods have spoken, and the brand Pyer Moss has been officially named as one to watch. It has just been announced as winner of the 2018 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund – a huge accolade that also comes with $400,000 (£306,806) in prize money.
Since 2003, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund has been giving emerging American talent a boost in the industry, and is a huge seal of approval. This year, judges included designer Diane von Furstenberg and Vogue’s Anna Wintour.
Kerby Jean-Raymond is the designer behind Pyer Moss, and here’s everything you need to know about him and the brand.
Trust us – this isn’t going to be the last time you hear his name.
Who is he?
31-year-old Jean-Raymond was born in Brooklyn, and attended New York’s High School of Fashion Industries. He interned with Kay Unger, worked for Marchesa when the label was starting out, and freelanced for brands like Marc Jacobs and Theory.
In 2013, he founded his own brand, telling Hypebeast the name “Pyer Moss” is a combination of his mother’s American and Haitian last names.
Everything he designs has a dedication to his parents in it, like small initials or other markers.
What’s the brand’s aesthetic?
Block colours and crisp tailoring characterise the Pyer Moss vibe. The aesthetic is firmly in the luxe streetwear camp, and consistently celebrates black culture.
Impactful slogan t-shirts are a common sight on the catwalk, such as one which has become particularly popular from the most recent collection saying: “Stop calling 911 on the culture.”
Solidifying his streetwear credentials, Pyer Moss is now on its third release in a series of collaborations with Reebok. These collections include clothes as well as shoes, some of which with a strong inspiration from the American West and cowboys.
What about his politics?
Jean-Raymond’s fashion has always been intrinsically linked to his politics. At the Pyer Moss Spring/Summer 2016 catwalk show, he debuted a documentary on police brutality against black people, featuring the deaths of Walter Scott – shot in 2015 after he was pulled over for having a brake light that wasn’t working – and Eric Garner – who died after being held in a choke hold during arrest in 2014 – as well as interviews with Michael Brown’s family. Brown was shot dead by a police officer in 2014.
In 2014, Jean-Raymond created a custom t-shirt called “They Have Names,” which listed some of the victims of police brutality. Last year, he updated the shirt, and it was worn by Colin Kaepernick – the NFL player who first took to his knee during the national anthem in protest against social injustice – in the GQ Citizen of the Year shoot.
Last year Jean-Raymond wrote an open letter to the fashion industry in Teen Vogue, describing some of the racism he’s come up against, but also expressing positivity for the future. He writes: “If you’re on the fence about speaking your truth or sharing your world with a greater audience, don’t be. We need each other, badly. The world absolutely needs your voice.”
In recent years, politics has been seen as a “cool” and “trendy” thing to incorporate into fashion. However, for Jean-Raymond it’s clearly much more than a passing fad, and is woven into everything he does.
Which celebrities are fans?
Earlier this year, Issa Rae hosted the CFDA awards only wearing black designers, and wore a custom blue jumpsuit by Pyer Moss with the words “Every N***er Is A Star” embroidered on – a reference to the Boris Gardiner song (which has also been sampled by Kendrick Lamar).
Other big name fans of the brand include Tiffany Haddish, Tracee Ellis Ross and Janet Jackson.