Diversity and inclusion are the main themes that seem to slip most fashion designers minds especially when casting for shows or campaigns. Does this send a message? Yes and it’s one of stagnant and, quite frankly, boredom. Kerby-Jean Raymond, the head of Pyer Moss, is known for his intelligent and intentional integration of politics and currents events to create statement pieces, clothing that is worth preserving , historical, archival garments. I remember the first time I paid attention to his brand: Essence Festival, New Orleans, Independence Day 2015, Usher Raymond hit the mainstage wearing a t-shirt that had the words crossed out “July Fourth” and replaced with “Juneteenth” to celebrate the abolishment of slavery in front of thousands of concertgoers. It was then I recognized that Raymond would change the way we view, purchased and identified fashion. Well the message is still very much the same but with a more refinedttone.
Handsomely, tailored garments, draped impeccably, perfectly measured bewildered the audience visually while R&B music icon Raphael Saadiq sonically provided a soundtrack that included a gospel choir serenading us with a soul stirring rendition of Kendrick Lamar’s anthem “Alright.” The theme of the show: the black cowboy. Often an unsung hero and excluded member of of Southwest America’s cultural fabric, the cowboy’s uniform is distinct and has been inserted in a number of shows of past but Raymond’s interpretation is modern, fresh and cutting edge. Think Bill Pickett meets any black, urban city [inserts Detroit, Chicago, New York, Houston]. Reimagining what the rough riders would wear to perform in today’s rodeo climate: voluminous, pleated chaps, tailored suiting with zig zag pattern and even a Western shirt with the ’90s cult brand Cross Colours logo embroidered over the chest. Never to leave stones unturned Raymond incorporated his Reebok partnership into the show and we saw how to properly emulate the current streetstyle craze. So in conclusion: His terms. His clothes. Always for the culture.
Image Source: Vogue.com