With his groundbreaking fashion shows and global platform heading up Reebok’s Studies Division, Pyer Moss’s Kerby Jean-Raymond, the 2019 FNAA Person of the Year, has already proved himself a powerful agent for cultural change.
Now, he’s leading the conversation on post-coronavirus fashion events.
As the debate rages between virtual versus physical events, the pioneering Jean-Raymond has devised a solution that would be a compromise between the two. He’s planning drive-in premieres for his film “American Also,” set to take place in September around the time of New York Fashion Week.
“It’s always been our mission to show the amount of thinking and laboring that goes behind putting together a collection — we’ve been slowing down the speed of how much we produce and improving the quality of what we produce throughout the years,” said Jean-Raymond in a statement released to FN. “This film aims to show the love and care our entire company puts into every single moment we create and will show that we appreciate fashion as an art form and communication tool that we’ve used to embolden a community around us.”
According to the statement, the event concept will be “the first in the fashion industry utilizing social distancing measures and will take place in multiple cities.” It added that following the premiere, “the event will be available for public consumption” with details and locations to be announced early summer 2020. This will likely constitute a series of further such screenings across the U.S.
The brand also confirmed to FN that although it is not specifically tied to the premiere, there will be a new Pyer Moss drop in September.
The feature documents the two years leading up to his boundary-pushing show that took place in September 2019 where he filled 3,000 seats at Kings Theatre in Flatbush, Brooklyn. The event concluded a three-part collection series created to reverse the erosion of contributions by people of color to American culture.
Earlier this month, the designer uploaded a trailer for the film to his personal Instagram account. His voice can be heard over the soundtrack where he says the following: “‘American Also’ was created to take elements of popular American society and show how black people had a hand in them. So many of us when we get opportunities and platforms, the first think we do is leave but slowly but surely I’ve been finding my way back. We’re more than the bad stories, we’re more than the killings we’re more than that.”
In April he made his directorial debut with a video for new Wale track, “Sue Me,” with a thought-provoking narrative which reversed the racial power dynamic.
Since the start of the pandemic in New York, Jean-Raymond has helping the relief effort by using his office as a donation center for medical supplies and has also set up a $100,000 fund to help minority-and women-owned small businesses affected by the crisis.
Doubtless the proposed screenings will not be without their difficulties in terms of execution but Jean-Raymond has already proved his ability to triumph over the odds.