Your Friends in New York (YFINY), the talent incubator launched by Pyer Moss founder Kerby Jean-Raymond and luxury conglomerate Kering, is unveiling its strategy and goals to support and elevate the next generation of designers of color. YFINY functions as both an accelerator and a support system, offering assistance in financing, production and planning, trademark protection, and accounting. The incubator also emphasizes collaboration among participating brands, encouraging them to share information and experiences with each other and with Pyer Moss. This collaborative approach aims to combat the tendency to pit Black designers against each other and foster a supportive environment.

So far, YFINY has worked with eight designers who were personally selected by Jean-Raymond. These designers include Edvin Thompson of Theophilio, Anifa Myuemba of Hanifa, Taofeek Abijako of Head of State, Raul Lopez of Luar, Nigella Miller of AFRA, Geron McKinley of GIM Brand, and Johnny Nelson of Johnny Nelson Jewelry. Although YFINY does not hold a financial stake in these brands, the collaboration is mutually beneficial. Jean-Raymond benefits from the support system he has created, while Kering gains insight into promising new talents.

E-commerce platform Ssense has pledged its support to YFINY by promoting and sharing data with the incubator. Ssense has also committed to making an annual purchase from the participants of YFINY, positioning itself as a priority when it comes to commercializing the resulting collections.

Initially, YFINY had plans to host an annual festival that would feature fashion, music, and wellness. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has temporarily halted these plans. Despite this setback, the company remains optimistic and hopeful that the event can still come to fruition. In addition to the festival, YFINY’s future plans include acquiring a home base that could serve as a location for shared sampling facilities and pop-ups selling products from participating brands, as well as YFINY merchandise.

Looking towards the future, Kethlyn White, the senior director of YFINY, envisions expanding the concept internationally. The idea of “Your Friends in…” chapters in cities like Los Angeles, London, or Hong Kong is being considered. However, YFINY’s immediate focus is on assisting its “class of 2022” in growing their businesses. Jean-Raymond aims to help these brands achieve financial success, with a goal of reaching $1 million in revenue and becoming self-sustaining.

Through collaboration and support, Your Friends in New York aims to accelerate the growth and success of designers of color. Jean-Raymond emphasizes the benefits of working together, stating that success can be achieved faster as a collective than individually. By providing infrastructure and resources, YFINY is on a mission to empower and elevate the next generation of diverse fashion talent.

For more information about Your Friends in New York, visit their official website here.

To learn more about the renowned luxury conglomerate Kering, click here.