History has been made by Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss. He emerged as the first Black designer to present on the couture calendar in the Chambre Syndicale’s 150 year plus history.
On Thursday, the brand’s first couture presentation was slated to take place at the CJ Walker estate in Irvington, New York, however, nature had other plans. The outpouring of rain led to the event being rescheduled. Given this occurrence, Jean-Raymond also decided to open up the event to Pyer Moss fans. According to Vogue, within an hour of the call-out on Instagram, over 9,000 people had signed up for one of the 100 available tickets. With a packed house and standing room only, the show would finally go on the next day.
The collection, according to Vogue, is a tribute to 25 Black inventions drawn from an extensive list at the Library of Congress. For the activist-designer to bring the ambitious concept to life, he enlisted the help of Hollywood fabricators and costume designers with a Sesame Street and Pixar set up theme for the collection.
The first look in the collection was a fitting tribute piece that was made from hundreds of tightly wrapped hair rollers. The tribute was to the original lady of the manor, beauty mogul CJ Walker who is America’s first female self-made millionaire.
The inventions that Jean-Raymond chose to celebrate spoke to his lived experiences: a fire escape, the only outdoor space space he knew growing up in Flatbush, Brooklyn; the cellphone he remembers his father carrying in the 1990s; childhood treats like a sprinkle-covered ice cream cone.
The collection is set to be installed as an exhibit at the Walker estate this fall in partnership with gallerist Nicola Vassell, Jean-Raymond will bring that powerful message to an even bigger audience.