Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss, a fashion label known to celebrate Black culture, was the recipient of this year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. The designer was awarded the honor, which included $400,000, at New York City’s Brooklyn Navy Yard on Monday, according to Vogue.
Jean-Raymond was the only Black designer among the 10 hopeful finalists. He was selected by a committee of industry veterans and influencers including Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, Instagram’s Eva Chen and designer Joseph Altuzarra.
“At a time when our world faces so many challenges, I’m impressed by this year’s winners,” Wintour said. “Their work highlights a high degree of creativity and a deep-rooted commitment to the notion of community. They’re not only a credit to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund as it celebrates its 15th anniversary, but also to the optimism and inclusivity of the very best American fashion.”
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Pyer Moss SS19 Reviews — “The inspiration was finding beauty in the every day lives of African Americans. “What does a mundane Saturday look like when we’re just left alone? What is black leisure wear?” the designer explained backstage … Several things may come to mind, perhaps athletic wear or "urban" wear as the apparel category came to be known in the dawn of the hip-hop era. But in Jean-Raymond's hands, it's something else entirely: lively print dresses ready for a Hollywood Hills pool party, sharp suits made for peacocking, and the kind of single-sleeve sunshine yellow dress that could light up any room … The designer said backstage that his creative spark came from researching the Negro Motorist Green Book, a Jim Crow-era publication that “showed black people how to stay safe while traveling in segregated America.” -Booth Moore, The Hollywood Reporter
Pyer Moss was founded in 2013 and has since become a favorite of celebrity fashionistas such as Issa Rae and Tracee Ellis Ross; both women wore pieces from the brand when they honored Black designers at the CFDA Awards and the American Music Awards, respectively.
Jean-Raymond has brought attention to racism, police brutality and mental health through his clothes. In September, during New York Fashion Week, his runway presentation took place in Weeksville, one of America’s first African-American communities during the 19th century.
During the show, he also debuted a T-shirt with the slogan “Stop Calling 911 on The Culture,” referencing the numerous reports of the police being calling on Black people as they carry out everyday tasks.
“This ride has been insane— we won, in Brooklyn,” Jean-Raymond wrote on Instagram after accepting the honor. “Thank you the PM team, friends, family, judges, Vogue, CFDA and Reebok. We’re ready for whatever comes next. Love”