Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss Is Not a Gatekeeper, He Breaks Them Open

From almost losing it all, to bringing the fashion world to Flatbush, he tells us why he finally feels free.

By
listen
Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss Is Not a Gatekeeper, He Breaks Them Open
Business of HYPE
5,864 Hypes 5 Comments

Business of HYPE is a weekly series brought to you by HYPEBEAST Radio and hosted by jeffstaple. It’s a show about creatives, brand-builders, entrepreneurs and the realities behind the dreams they’ve built. This week, Jeff sits down with Kerby Jean-Raymond, creator of Pyer Moss and Artistic Director of Reebok Studies.

In recent years, Pyer Moss has become a rather unstoppable force in fashion. Your favorite musician, actor or director could be seen wearing it; the brand won the CFDA Fashion Fund Prize; and its founder was listed on Forbes‘ 30 under 30. Most importantly, the brand has been celebrated for its strong political stances and homage to black culture. However, what is a successful brand now, took Kerby years to build, even almost at risk of losing it all. 

The Flatbush native attended Fashion Industries High School for a program in fashion design & pattern making where he was able to freelance for Kay Unger and Marchesa. He went on to double major in entrepreneurship and business law with a minor in African studies at Hofstra University—where his interest in politics took form. Despite a number of fashion internships at Kenneth Cole, Theory, Marc Jacobs and Mishka, the designer was left without a full-time job and instead landed at a local AT&T.

“I don’t think people understand how hard it is to get a job. Getting a job fresh out of college when you’re black, young, with limited experience is difficult. A lot of kids end up going back to school because it’s easier to put your loans in forbearance. I had to just get to it. I needed a place to live, and I needed to survive.”

After getting fired from AT&T, Kerby decided to return to his passion and started his clothing line GAUD. A number of mishaps and chaotic investor deals later, he renamed the line to Pyer Moss, in homage of his late mother. While the brand did gain momentum, Kerby was entangled in more troubling investment deals and it was only until late 2017, the designer was free of past grievances.

In the past two years, Kerby has developed an impressive body of work with his three recent collections. He stresses that the Pyer Moss today came about by him learning to “stop following the formula.” Success didn’t come by finessing celebrities or trendy, viral moments, but more so by harnessing the energy of “politics, societal conventions and music” — all of which were on display during his most recent show at King’s Theatre

“I just cannot do it. I’m free of the fashion industry for sure, but what I’m never gonna set myself free of is being responsible for other people. I feel completely responsible for all the lives that work with us. That’s the legacy we’re gonna leave behind; we’re not gate keepers, we’re gate openers.”

As always, thank you for tuning into HYPEBEAST Radio and Business of HYPE. You can subscribe to our channel on Apple, Spotify, Anchor or wherever else you get your podcasts. Don’t forget to leave a comment and write a review. Feel free to ask Jeff any questions on Twitter @jeffstaple or via email at questions@businessofhype.com.

This episode features references to the following:

3:56 – The High School of Fashion Industries
5:30 – Tinker Hatfield
7:42 – Kay Unger
8:17 – Ragga Muffin
12:51 – Family background
21:21 – Hofstra University
22:50 – Marchesa
23:04 – Kenneth Cole, Theory, Marc Jacobs
25:16 – Working at Sprint and AT&T
36:26 – Jim Cramer
37:36 – Starting his brand, Gaud
39:48 – Getting investors
46:23 – Rihanna
46:36 – Turning Gaud into Pyer Moss
52:15 – Barneys
56:22 – Getting investors
59:24 – Usher
60:49 – Forbes 30 Under 30
62:02 – Negotiation deals
64:04 – Damion Presson of Reebok
73:15 – Reebok deal
73:49 – Pyer Moss, Collection I
77:17 – Pyer Moss, Collection III
77:24 – Christopher John Rogers
80:03 – King’s Theatre
83:39 – Reflections

Read Full Article

What to Listen to Next

The HYPE Report: Travis Scott Teases His Nike SB Dunk Low Collab, CES 2020 Recap and More

The HYPE Report: Travis Scott Teases His Nike SB Dunk Low Collab, CES 2020 Recap and More

We also discuss Virgil’s statement that streetwear as we know it is dying and a man attacking a Picasso painting.

Listen
3,314 Hypes 1 Comments

Edson Sabajo and Guillame Schmidt Built Patta on Teamwork and Quirkiness

Edson Sabajo and Guillame Schmidt Built Patta on Teamwork and Quirkiness

Patta’s co-founders reflect on 15 years in business.

Listen
8,376 Hypes 8 Comments

The HYPE Report: Best Sneakers of 2019

The HYPE Report: Best Sneakers of 2019

We also discussed the most important sneakers of the decade.

Listen
16,757 Hypes 3 Comments


Special Episode: 'Behind the Baller Podcast' With Ben Baller

Special Episode: 'Behind the Baller Podcast' With Ben Baller

For the first time ever, jeffstaple gets interviewed by a previous guest.

Listen
5,155 Hypes 5 Comments

The HYPE Report: Best Fashion Moments of 2019

The HYPE Report: Best Fashion Moments of 2019

From ’90s fashion and athleisure, to technical wear and sustainability.

Listen
4,976 Hypes 0 Comments

The HYPE Report: Best Music of 2019

The HYPE Report: Best Music of 2019

We also reflect on movements of the past decade such as toxic R&B, the era of streaming and much more.

Listen
3,661 Hypes 0 Comments

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Help us serve you better

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads, where we can share contents from the latest fashion, to those culturally relevant. In adding HYPEBEAST to your ad blocker's whitelist, ads on our sites will show while you continue to browse.