‘Black is a spectrum’ is a common phrase in the black community and it means there is no one way to be Black in America. This idea has never been more clear in fashion than with the new SS19 Pyer Moss collection shown during New York Fashion Week. Designer Kerby Jean-Raymond tries to represent the Black American lifestyle for as many different types of people as possible. This is no easy task nor is this collection all encompassing, but it is a good start.
The collection targets everyone from socialites and street style gods like A$AP Rocky, to the educated elite in corporate America, from the graceful naturalists and the Queer and distinct at Afropunk, to the the art lovers, music producers and so many more.
The looks would blend seamlessly on the crowded streets of New York in places west of Fifth Avenue like Strivers Row, The National Jazz Museum, Sylvia’s Restaurant, the Harlem Ballet or the Wallach Art Gallery.
The style inspiration and palette come from a colorful hip hop label called FUBU, it is an acronym “For Us By Us”. The label was founded in 1992 by Daymond John, J. Alexander Martin, Keith Perrin and Carlton Brown with aspirations to uplift the Black community and create community wealth.
The Pyer Moss collection includes t-shirts with slogans like “Stop Calling 911 on the Culture”, a call out against racist behavior in America by White people who call the police on Black people for doing things like barbecuing in the park, napping in the common area at their university or checking out of an Airbnb room while on vacation.
The collection focuses primarily on day wear but there are standout evening looks. A full length dress with a painting by artist Derrick Adams is one of many such designs, it is meant to put the culture, often forgotten or never recorded, straight into the faces of Americans.
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