Haitian-American Designer Uses Fashion Week To Again Send Strong Message

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Fashion designer Kerby Jean-Raymond (L) and stylist and singer-songwriter Erykah Badu pose backstage at the Pyer Moss Fall 2016 fashion show during MADE Fashion Week at Milk Studios on February 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images)
Kerby Jean-Raymond-fashion-week-2016
Fashion designer Kerby Jean-Raymond (L) and stylist and singer-songwriter Erykah Badu pose backstage at the Pyer Moss Fall 2016 fashion show during MADE Fashion Week at Milk Studios on February 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images)

By NAN ET Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Feb. 19, 2016: A Haitian-American fashion designer, who stunned the fashion world last season with his strong message against police brutality, has used this season’s showing to spotlight on another tough issue.

Kerby Jean-Raymond, who was born in Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY and founded the line, Pyer Moss (pronounced Pierre Moss), debuted his Fall 2016 collection last weekend, under the title “Double Bind,” as he focused on the less often talked about issue of depression, especially in the black community.

Jean-Raymond who in September 2015 used his Spring collection to spotlight on police brutality and Black Lives Matter last Fall, again intertwined a social message into his collection this year – this time with a focus on mental health.

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A model walks the runway wearing Pyer Moss Fall 2016 during MADE Fashion Week at Milk Studios on February 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Models strolled down the runway in quilted trousers, teddy-bear fur coats, varsity-style bombers and long shorts over jogging pants as an operatic choir wearing white nurses’ uniform played a classical quintet at Milk Studios, New York.

Singer Erykah Badu, who brought along her own collection of eyewear and hats, collaborated with Jean-Raymond on the show’s styling. The models wore chauffeur looking hats that carried stickers of depression drugs on them including Xanax.

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A model walks the runway wearing Pyer Moss Fall 2016 during MADE Fashion Week at Milk Studios on February 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

His clothing also carried strong messages that urged anyone feeling anxious, depressed, hostile, etc to call a doctor.

As the show came to an end, one model held up a placard that read: “My demons won today. I’m sorry,” a reference to the last social posting of Black Lives Matter activist MarShawn McCarrel, II, who committed suicide on February 8th in Ohio.

Jean-Raymond got his start interning with Kay Unger at 14 and then Marchesa at 16. His line was launched in 2013 and named after his mother.

“Truth and honesty is what compels me to design,” Jean-Raymond has said. “I feel a responsibility to be myself, to be completely relevant in my thoughts and my emotions and not give into societal pressures. If something is bothering me, I’m going to talk about it.”

On the line’s focus on depression, he told Billboard: “In our culture, especially in black culture, it’s taboo to talk about depression, to talk about when things bother you. People say “man up,” but that’s not a real diagnosis and I think that it’s important that we address it. Nina Simone had a great quote. She said: “How can you be an artist and not represent the times?” And that’s one of the mottos that I live by.”

 

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