Kerby Jean-Raymond took to the stage with gusto tonight to accept the FN’s 2018 Collaboration of the Year Award in New York.
“I’m starting to get really used to this. Let’s keep this going. I want like five more of these in 2019,” said the founder and creative director of Pyer Moss, who won a FN Achievement Award for his Reebok by Pyer Moss collaboration.
“I started designing because I wanted to be a sneaker designer, and somehow, by accident, I became a fashion designer. It wasn’t intentional. And I’m happy that Reebok has given me the opportunity to kind of segue back to where I started,” the Haitian-American designer shared.
Jean-Raymond also revealed that when he was looking for a company to partner with, Reebok stood out to him for a specific reason. “A lot of people wanted to keep me in a box,” he explained. “My work is political, so I was offered political things, and I was offered things that were specifically black or specifically street. And Reebok said, ‘Do whatever the f**k you want,’ and that was immediately the perfect match for me.”
The designer went on to tell the room that they have the ability to change people’s lives by giving them the access that Reebok gave him. “There are so many people that look like me, and there are so many kids that come from my background that are equally as talented who are not given the opportunity, who are not able to express themselves on these stages, who are not able to win CFDA awards, who are not able to come here and win Footwear News awards just because they don’t have the right access. They’re not put in the right rooms. And everyone in this room has the ability to reach down — just reach down — and you’ll be surprised what you find. Reebok did it, and you guys can do it.”
Watch on FN
The FN Achievement Awards is a night in which business leaders, A-list celebrities, big-name influencers and more gather at the IAC Building in New York to recognize and celebrate veteran brands, emerging talents and revitalized retailers (watch the livestream here).
How the Fila Disruptor 2 Has Shaken Up the Footwear Industry
FN to Honor Bruce Nordstrom, Diane Sullivan, Tabitha Simmons + More Big Names at 2018 FNAAs
How the Reebok by Pyer Moss Collaboration Is Building Cultural Awareness