10 Things You Didn’t Know About Kerby Jean-Raymond

Kerby Jean-Raymond is an influential figure in the fashion industry, making history and shaping the aesthetic of modern streetwear through his luxurious brand Pyer Moss. His knack for storytelling through clothing pieces has earned him a unique spot in the industry. While many know the finished products and the spectacular fashion shows, few know the man, Kerby Jean-Raymond, behind Pyer Moss. Here are ten things you may not know about this revolutionary designer.

1. His Early Life

Kerby Jean-Raymond was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1987, to Haitian parents. As the youngest of his parents’ five children, Jean-Raymond was raised predominantly by his father, following the death of his mother when he was just seven years old.

His father, who was an immigrant businessman and accountant, played a significant role in shaping Jean-Raymond’s perspective on life and influenced his entrepreneurial spirit. Jean-Raymond’s childhood environment, coupled with personal experiences, played a role in developing his strong views on social and racial justice apparent in his work today.

2. He Started Designing At An Early Age

Jean-Raymond’s love for design started at a young age. At the tender age of 14, he had already started making his own clothes. In fact, Jean-Raymond even made his own prom outfit. His early experience with design and tailoring was a presage of the future marvels he would create in the fashion industry.

To refine his raw talent, Jean-Raymond attended the High School of Fashion Industries in New York City and later graduated from Hofstra University. His education in fashion would serve as the foundation on which he would build his empire.

3. His Brand, Pyer Moss, Has Personal Significance

The name ‘Pyer Moss’ isn’t just a fancy sounding brand name. It holds personal significance to Jean-Raymond. ‘Pyer Moss’ is a combination of his mother’s maiden name, Pyer, and her middle name, Moss. This choice of name is a tribute to Jean-Raymond’s late mother and highlights the deeply personal influence that runs through the brand.

Pyer Moss launched in 2013 and has since pushed boundaries in the fashion industry by using its platform to comment on social issues such as police brutality and economic inequality. The brand’s ability to blend social commentary and fashion has been a defining feature, making it stand out in an industry often criticized for its vapidness.

4. He Takes Inspiration From Streetwear

Streetwear has vastly influenced Jean-Raymond’s designs. Drawing on elements from hip-hop culture and his surroundings in New York City, Jean-Raymond has managed to create his unique blend of luxury and streetwear that defies conventional fashion norms.

The result is wearable art pieces depicting his personal experiences and views on social justice, making his brand, Pyer Moss, as much an expression of self as it is a fashion label. Jean-Raymond’s ability to tell stories and convey messages through his clothes is part of what makes his work so unique and respected.

5. His Take on Racial Issues

Jean-Raymond is unapologetically black, using his influence and platform to highlight the struggles of black people in America. Through his creations, he has taken a stand to tell the often untold African-American stories.

His clothing is not just fashionable, but also thought-provoking and educative. Every collection reveals stories of race and societal issues, inviting the viewer to think more deeply about these issues. Jean-Raymond’s passion for social justice is creating ripples in the industry and beyond.

6. His Collaboration with Reebok

In 2018, Jean-Raymond added another feather to his cap when he collaborated with Reebok to create a line of athletic footwear and apparel. The collection stood out for seamlessly blending athletic functionality with high-fashion elements, while maintaining Jean-Raymond’s signature social commentary.

This collaboration put him firmly on the global stage, allowing him to amplify his messages and reach a wider audience. The collaboration also established Jean-Raymond as a serious contender in the realm of athletic wear, expanding the scope of his design prowess.

7. His Recognition

Jean-Raymond’s exceptional talent and creativity hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2018, he won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award, bringing more attention and acclaim to his brand.

More recently, in 2020, he was named the American Menswear Designer of the Year by the CFDA. These milestones testify to Jean-Raymond’s innovative designs and the impact they have made on the fashion industry.

8. His Activism

Beyond the world of fashion, Jean-Raymond is a dedicated activist. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he converted his office in New York into a PPE donation center and offered financial aid to struggling small businesses.

His commitment to social justice and giving back makes Jean-Raymond a well-respected figure both in and outside the fashion industry. His actions continue to inspire others to use their platforms for good, adding further to his influence and status.

9. His Relationship With Spiritual Concepts

Jean-Raymond’s work is imbued with spiritual and philosophical undertones. He regularly references his Voodoo heritage, drawing strength and inspiration from it. He’s also mentioned that his creative process involves meditation, lending his work a depth and thoughtfulness.

Moreover, Jean-Raymond never shies away from exploring topics related to existentialism and mortality in his collections, marking him as a designer who not only knows how to create a beautiful garment but also how to stir thought and discourse.

10. He’s Making History at Paris Fashion Week

Jean-Raymond is set to become the first black designer to show a couture collection with the Chambre Syndicale, the French organization that determines which labels can be designated as official haute couture houses. This move is historic and symbolic of the changes that are slowly coming about in the fashion industry.

The opportunity allows Jean-Raymond to bring his brand of storytelling, unity and social uplift to an even broader stage. It’s a significant accomplishment and recognition of his talent.

Pyer Moss Official Website
Vogue: Kerby Jean-Raymond Interview
New York Times: Kerby Jean-Raymond Profile