Designer Kerby Jean-Raymond plans to debut his documentary, American, Also, and drop a new collection to coincide with the film’s premiere.
Kerby Jean-Raymond always thinks ahead, while also never forgetting the past. Today, the designer of New York–based fashion label Pyer Moss has announced plans to set up a drive-in movie theater for New York Fashion Week in September, where he will debut American, Also, a film that highlights all the work that goes into producing a collection for his independent brand.
“It’s always been our mission to show the amount of thinking and laboring that goes behind putting together a collection—we’ve been slowing down the speed of how much we produce and improving the quality of what we produce throughout the years,” said Jean-Raymond in a statement. “This film aims to show the love and care our entire company puts into every single moment we create and will show that we appreciate fashion as an art form and communication tool that we’ve used to embolden a community around us.”
Indeed, Pyer Moss has made great strides in showcasing the Black experience in America, the marginalization and systemic prejudice that the community has faced—and still faces. His last show for the spring 2020 season, titled “Sister,” took place at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York, and served as a bookend to his trilogy runway presentation series, also titled “American, Also,” which addressed the undervaluing of African-American contributions in popular culture.
It was there where Jean-Raymond filled the space with the fashion industry bigwigs and other attendees who would normally not have the chance to witness such a spectacle. “There is going to be a lot of kids in there, who [are going to see] their first fashion show,” Jean-Raymond says in the trailer for the film. “It’s the first time ever being allowed into a space that is typically elitist and very, you know, secluded.”
The setup certainly worked at the time, culminating in rapturous applause for the designer. But since the coronavirus outbreak, which has federal and local officials closing public venues and asking the masses to stay at home, replicating the same type of scenario has become tricky. Already, brands like Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs have chosen to forgo their Fashion Week presentations, citing the difficult circumstances as the reason. Others have taken to digital-only formats.
With the drive-in, however, Jean-Raymond is proposing another alternative. He plans to show American, Also at multiple drive-in spaces across a number of cities across the nation, the first of which will be in his home neighborhood of Queens, New York—and drop a new collection to coincide with the documentary premiere. How he plans on achieving this Herculean feat is still being worked out, but judging by his past successes—the foremost of which is being one of the first designers to incite COVID-19 relief efforts—we have faith Jean-Raymond will get the job done.