To be a black woman who works in fashion is to be both simultaneously ignored and copied. My tone is policed but my colloquialisms are added to text to make it “voice-y.” The hair that grows out of my head is only just now protected from discrimination in its natural state in New York City, yet non-black influencers appropriate hairstyles. My body is both emulated and ridiculed for its shape. Attending fashion shows, which should be the pinnacle of my experience as a fashion editor and writer, is just a reminder of Western beauty standards I do not fit: I’m short, I’m brown-skinned, and I am not a 00. So often when a black designer appears on the fashion scene, I look to them as a reflection of my culture on a grand scale. I’m usually disappointed.
That hasn’t been my experience with Pyer Moss.
Winning the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and Anna Wintour’s admiration hasn’t changed Kerby Jean-Raymond. If anything, it’s helped him shine an even bigger spotlight on the work that he’s done since his first New York Fashion Week runway show in 2013. Jean-Raymond hasn’t changed, the industry has. In 2017, after the 31-year-old designed an updated version of the “They Have Names” shirts for