Pyer Moss has consistently put on grand runway shows in its history, with last year’s SS19 event bringing fashion’s elite to Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn for a family reunion-style gathering. What’s critical about putting on a theatrical display, however, is ensuring that the clothes aren’t lost in the mix of it all. And once again, through his Collection 3 showcase dubbed “Sister,” creative director Kerby Jean-Raymond has proven that both can be done — and done so in an exemplary manner.
Crowds swarmed the doors of Kings Theatre in Flatbush, Brooklyn last night in anticipation of what has become one of the industry’s most sought-after experiences. Despite the year-long hiatus since his last show, Jean-Raymond has proven consistent in his mission of uplifting people of color and reversing the erasure of blackness, continuing to release his “American, Also” campaign well into the spring. And so the story unfolded again for Collection 3 as womenswear, menswear and the brand’s Reebok by Pyer Moss ranges were presented in homage to Sister Rosetta Tharpe — the black musician credited as the “Godmother of Rock N’ Roll” — backed by the soulful R&B, gospel and hip-hop medley of the “Pyer Moss Tabernacle Drip Choir Drenched in The Blood.”
The label’s usual assortment of relaxed suiting separates, rich and expressive prints and colorful sportswear was in rotation as renditions of songs by Anita Baker, Tina Turner and even Cardi B set the soundtrack. Men’s looks were grounded in upscale streetwear, including button-ups in a spectrum of hues like mint and royal blue, flared pants and knee-length robes crafted in satin and sporty, cropped leather jackets. Meanwhile, the women’s pieces retained an effortless elegance, featuring pleated dresses, sheer collared shirts and silk gowns. And of course, collaborations were critical to the line and as meaningful as they have been in previous shows.
Jean-Raymond commissioned Richard Phillips to create the vibrant watercolor drawings that made reference to Tharpe and her guitar. Phillips had spent 45 years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit before his exoneration in 2018, which Jean-Raymond explained on Instagram broke his heart upon hearing it, leading him to connect with Phillips in Detroit. In another instance, the designer continued his mission of reacclimating people to the black brands that paved the way by spotlighting Sean John this season, a company that Jean-Raymond said was his “first inclination to fashion, that I can do it too.”
There was just as much attention to detail for Reebok by Pyer Moss, which showcased the range’s tracksuits, crop tops and flared pants with an opening look on Stranger Things’ Caleb McLaughlin. An updated palette with shades like melon, baby blue and canary yellow lent a nod to the pastel movement that has been happening throughout men’s collections as of late. And two bold colorways of the newest collaborative sneaker, the Experiment 4 Fury Trail, also graced the runway, finishing it all off with a label favorite.
Elsewhere for Jean-Raymond, the creative director was recently named Artistic Director of Reebok Studies__, a new division at the company geared toward cultivating diverse talent.
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A few years ago, I saw Richard Phillips’ story on the news. He had been exonerated after spending 45 years in jail for a crime he did not commit. Evidence was withheld in order to derail him. As with most shit I see on the news, this broke my heart. I reached out to him after I heard he’d been painting incessantly and I commissioned him for Collection 3. We flew out to Detroit recently to hear his story first hand. Please show him all the love you show me. I look forward to showing you our collaboration on Sunday. Peace to Mr. Phillips. -KJR
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