Haitian-American fashion designer Kerby Jean-Raymond isn’t letting COVID-19 stand in the way of the New York Fashion Week experience he’s creating for spectators, and he has already come up with an innovative workaround for his Pyer Moss brand.
The designer brand founder and creative director announced that this September he’ll be hosting a first-of-its-kind, socially distanced drive-in premiere of his “American, Also” film. The documentary captures the two years leading up to his unforgettable Pyer Moss show from NYFW 2019, held at the Kings Theatre in the Flatbush district of Brooklyn. The film event will provide a creative alternative to the new 6-feet-apart world in which we now live.
Jean-Raymond’s 2019 spectacle “Sister” put Black culture front and center at the yearly fashion event. For this year’s NYFW in September, however, he’s focused on “slowing down” and upping the ante in the quality department, as opposed to quantity. “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,” Jean-Raymond told Vogue.
While details of the event have yet to be revealed, the designer teased what fans can expect from the film. “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,” he said.
Jean-Raymond has been abundantly clear about the space he’s set out to create and the message he hopes to spread within the fashion industry since the launch of Pyer Moss in 2013. His 2015 NYFW runway show gained national attention for putting the spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement, using video portraying police brutality, including footage from the 2014 police chokehold slaying of Eric Garner.
During 2019’s “Sister,” Jean-Raymond sought to uplift the Black community, more specifically the Black woman, with a colorful, joyful celebration complete with a massive gospel choir that sang a variety of songs sung by (you guessed it) Black women.
“The whole thing is really to recognize our worth, and us as Black people, what we’ve contributed to what pop society is in America,” Jean-Raymond told The Associated Press after his 2019 show. “What I aim to do is to make disenfranchised people, Black people, with this series and minorities and women, know and understand how important they are to this thing called America right now.”
Jean-Raymond has already garnered quite the impressive résumé outside of New York Fashion Week as well, having already collaborated with Erykah Badu, making the Forbes “30 Under 30” list in 2015, and, more recently, appearing as a guest judge on the Netflix fashion competition “Next in Fashion,” as well as landing a role as artistic director at Reebok.
After the NYFW debut of “American, Also,” Jean-Raymond plans to take the drive-in event on tour across the country. Location and detailed event information for the NYFW drive-in event and the subsequent tour reportedly will be revealed this summer.