How Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond Became the Most-Talked About Rising Fashion Star

Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond has officially solidified his place in fashion. On Tuesday night in Brooklyn, N.Y., the designer and founder of the ready-to-wear brand was announced the winner of the 2018 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, in which he will receive a $400,000 prize to help grow the luxury label.

And on Dec. 4, his Reebok x Pyer Moss union — a sales success— will receive the Collaboration of the Year honor at the 2018 FN Achievement Awards.

Here’s why he deserves all the attention.

He Takes a Stand

Since launching the Pyer Moss brand in 2013, Jean-Raymond has used his designs and his platform to celebrate black culture and promote matters outside the industry. The designer constantly redefines what fashion is by challenging social narratives in America today.

For instance, Jean-Raymond hosted his Pyer Moss spring ’19 runway show in September at the historic Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn — one of the first free black community spaces, founded in 1838. His collection both honored and drew from the African-American experience.

Model on the catwalkPyer Moss show, Runway, Spring Summer 2019, New York Fashion Week, USA - 08 Sep 2018
Model on the catwalk at spring ’19 Pyer Moss show.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

He also kicked off his spring ’16 runway presentation with a documentary on police brutality and racism. And he’s been vocal regarding social issues such as gun violence.

For his fall ’18 campaign, the designer tapped a group of activists (including rapper Vic Mensa) to star in his ads. The individuals shared the common goal of building their communities up while fighting violence and economic disparity. “We will keep working to bridge the gap between fashion, art and humanity,” Jean-Raymond posted on Instagram following the campaign rollout.

He’s Inclusive

While Jean-Raymond’s luxury label has found fans among entertainment’s biggest names, including Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Issa Rae, the designer now has product that is accessible to the masses — thanks to his partnership with Reebok.

In February, the New Yorker debuted his “American, Also” collection with the athletic giant, along with the Reebok DMX Fusion Experiment by Pyer Moss sneaker, which garnered buzz due its futuristic look.

Reebok DMX Fusion Experiment Pyer Moss
Reebok DMX Fusion Experiment by Pyer Moss.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

Since then, Jean-Raymond and Reebok have released the DMX Fusion Experiment in an all-black colorway in June, followed by the DMX Daytona Experiment 2 sneaker, his second shoe collab within the Reebok by Pyer Moss collection. That shoe is available now on Reebok.com and retails for $200.

Of the collection, Jean-Raymond said, “I just hope that it’s anybody who is cool with a conscience, who just doesn’t care about disposable clothing and fast fashion will get into what we’re doing. … I want them to take pride in owning it.”

He’s Authentic

As he continues to be known for his activism and political statements, Jean-Raymond often looks inward for inspiration. Like with his fall ’17 collection — in which he drew from his relationship with his Haitian immigrant father and titled the line “My Father As I Remember – 1980-1999.”

His entire brand is anchored by Jean-Raymond’s own heritage, too. For example, he inscribes the number “94” on many of his garments (a nod to the year his mother died), and the label’s moniker is inspired by her name, Vania Moss Pierre.

Kerby Jean-Raymond 15th Annual CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Awards, New York, USA - 05 Nov 2018
Pyer Moss founder, Kerby Jean-Raymond, winner of the 15th Annual CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund.
CREDIT: Neil Rasmus/Shutterstock

Emily Blunt was on hand to present Jean-Raymond with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award, along with Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief and artistic director of Condé Nast, who proclaimed Jean-Raymond’s work to have a “high degree of creativity and a deep-rooted commitment to the notion of community.”

The runner-ups for the award included Emily Adams Bode of menswear brand Bode and Jonathan Cohen, who will each receive $150,000.

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