I’m probably going to get this wrong and offend Kerby, but I don’t know how else to express it. Pyer Moss Founder, Kerby Jean-Raymond’s story can be easily coined as that of a type of prodigal son-ONLY-this son didn’t necessarily leave home and get ratchet far away, forgetting his roots. He seemingly left to find and build the tools he needs to come back home and build a better community for the people who resemble him.
In a world, and CERTAINLY, an industry that normalises marginalising Black people and reverting us to menial pay and positions, and excluding us from spaces that are about us, Kerby’s voice has become one of the most poignant and pungent. Through his work as Pyer Moss, he’s developed a narrative that is conveyed in clothing, armour that we can wear, to further voice our opinions.
There are not many of us who are as vocal and even fewer of us who have managed to be so rightfully load and stand in the light without self-doubt lingering and it’s inspiring to witness and follow. His sense of community, fortunately, extends further from that to support of fellow entrepreneurs and creatives and that was most visibly seen in his bid to assist Creative Entrepreneurs during this COVID-19 pandemic by assisting them with funding where possible through his initiative, Your Friends in New York.
Activist seems like the only noun available to allow many to understand who and what Kerby is, however, it would probably be more honest to describe him and his work as ‘Authentic’. He is an original, accurately narrating a story of Black America in a genuine and significant manner to ears willing to listen and those playing deaf.