Pyer Moss celebrates Black inventors in couture show
Following a two-year hiatus, Pyer Moss, the New York-based fashion brand led by Kerby Jean-Raymond hit the runway on Saturday, becoming the first Black designer to officially show on the couture schedule.
The runway event, which followed a two-day delay due to Hurricane Elsa, debuted 25 looks, each look highlighting inventions by Black people. Kicking off with words from Elaine Brown, former chairwoman of the Black Panther Party and a performance by 22Gz, the show dubbed 'Wat U Iz', sent models down a vivid blue runway in garments referencing common items like a cell phone, bicycle, traffic light, chessboard, refrigerator, and more.
Inventions were incorporated as either sculptural pieces juxtaposed with the clothing or as a part of the clothing. There were silhouettes of peanut bar jars mixed with elegant evening wear, a white off-the-shoulder shirtdress, and more. The sculptured garments will eventually be part of an exhibit inside Villa Lewaro, the mansion built in 1918 by Madam C.J. Walker -- a Black entrepreneur, philanthropist, and political and social activist.
“We are an invention inside of an invention. Inside of the creation of race, we made blackness. Uprooted from home and put in a foreign land, we made culture. And when they tried to strip our humanity, we made freedom so tethered to each other that it still shapes the world today,” the show notes read.
“At our best, we create space and tools for those who will come next, knowing that we must pay it forward. What will you leave behind? What will they build from what you’ve done? Or have you not yet learned and are only building for yourself in this world.”
Founded by Jean-Raymond in 2013, Pyer Moss has amassed a dedicated fan base. The label, which is known for its social activism, won the CFDA Fashion Fund Award in 2018 and was named CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year in 2020.
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