Pyer Moss‘ Kerby Jean-Raymond blew fashion critics away in 2015 when he opened up his runway show with a 12-minute film titled This Is An Intervention. The shocking film featured harrowing cell phone footage of police brutality cases involving Black men, shootings, and emotional interviews with relatives of those killed by said events.
On the runway, models sported Doc Martens splattered with fake bloodstains. Some wore spray-painted garments with the phrase BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE across their clothing, paying homage to the horrific 2014 death of Eric Garner. Pyer Moss became more than just a fashion brand, it became a political statement.
Raymond has taken Pyer Moss to incredible heights in the years since. Big celebrities and politicians have worn garments from the brand, including Michelle Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris, who famously rocked a Pyer Moss coat on the day of her inauguration in 2021.
But there hasn’t been much buzz about the Black-centric fashion line since their Paris Couture week fashion show in 2021. The Pyer Moss website hasn’t been uploaded with new designs in months and clothing has become hard to purchase from the brand. Photos have also been scrubbed clean from the Pyer Moss instagram account.
On Jan. 30, an expose was published by The Cut, attempting to peel back the layers of the brand’s disappearance. The writer, who spoke to several sources connected to Raymond, claimed he had issues following the “typical show schedule” and that there were no planned seasons associated with his collections. Some company insiders alleged that the Brooklyn bred designer failed to maintain quality control and that garments were being produced with too many flaws to be sold.
Other sources alleged that Raymond was notorious for missing deadlines, failed to “pay pills” in a timely fashion and “alienated allies.”
Social media reacts to the Pyer Moss expose
The shocking allegations sent social media users into an uproar on Twitter. Many users speculated whether the fashion’s industry predatory business nature was to blame for the brand’s downfall.
“If anything, the Pyer Moss piece just further emphasizes how so many people in the industry are in an “artistic” bubble that they often forget that fashion at its core is design and business rather than art and performance, at the end you have to sell,” wrote one user. While another person tweeted:
“My take on pyer moss, it’s time to abolish the black excellence industrial complex. The problem with building an entire career around the white gaze surface-level understanding of blackness is they’ll box you in. Cause at a certain point art has to speak for itself.”
Some users claimed that the brand “fell off” because their design concepts were “bad” and quality wasn’t up to par.
One Twitter-goer named @TheAllenYork wondered where Pyer Moss was storing their “unmoved product.”
“I need some heat!” he joked.
Other users empathized with Raymond’s challenges behind the scenes. Many argued that the story was only being magnified because he was someone that was well respected in the fashion community.
@VeronicaJArt chimed in:
“A lot of the issues laid out by former employees are (unfortunately) incredibly normal for clothing companies that don’t operate well. Nothing here is really new. It just that this time, it involves someone a lot of people put a lot of hope in.”
While @veryADVANCED commented:
“This Pyer Moss “exposé” is not scathing or disrespectful at all. if anything it’s very empathetic towards Kerby & brought to light reasons why the brand hasn’t achieved the level of success it was expected to & let’s be real a lot of us were wondering what the hell was going on.”
Kerby Jean-Raymond speaks out
Over email, Jean-Raymond told The Cut that he was shocked by some of the claims made about Pyer Moss’s wobbly infrastructure. “I feel a huge sense of responsibility to everyone who believes in me and what Pyer Moss has come to represent,” he wrote. “Pyer Moss means everything to me.”
Have you read the article? What do you think about some of the allegations stated in the piece? Sound off in the comments section.
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