New York Women’s Fashion Week S/S 2020 Part 1: Pyer Moss

The big news in New York are not so much the fashion shows but the fact that designer and Hollywood director Tom Ford has become the master of ceremonies for the CFDA. To prove he has New York grit, he took his namesake show into the Manhattan subway system Monday night. But before:

This is how New York Fashion Week starts when you are a member of the foreign press and Tom Ford is the new boss at the CFDA. You get invited to a pre-fashion week dinner at Indochine where the food stopped being good a long time ago but the place still represents what downtown New York is all about. Ford gave a good speech encouraging the crowd to mingle with the “emerging” designers he brought along and so we did. The first person we met was Kerby Jean-Raymond who has won a CFDA award last year for his brand Pyer Moss which is creating its clothing templates by uncovering stories of black peoples’ contributions to American pop culture. Pyer Moss only shows once a year and not every season, so naturally all the stops were pulled out for the “American, Also. Lesson 3. Sister” show in Flatbush last Sunday night. Venturing to the outskirts of Brooklyn on a Sunday night when the public transportation is far from reliable is a major show of faith to a young brand. But then that’s exactly why Mr. Ford set up this dinner. Promises of attendance were made, hands were shaken and it didn’t hurt that Vanessa Friedman of the New York Times whispered “this is the most interesting show here at the moment” when we walked out of the dinner. And it was worth the trip to Brooklyn. Pyer Moss is the new hot name in New York standing for outstanding coloring, rethought athletic shapes and strong men’s wear.

Tom Ford and Pyer Moss’ designer Kerby Jean-Raymond at Tom Ford’s pre-fashion week dinner.

The setting?

Jean-Raymond brought this show into the Brooklyn neighborhood he grew up in. He rented the King Theatre and the outside billboard lights impressively announced his triumphant homecoming. “I was robbed here, I was stabbed here so it’s a significant return,” the designer admitted backstage. It’s been a while that we have seen lines sneak around the corner of a show venue.

What stood out?

It was clear that this was a big production from the moment one walked in. But it’s rare to see a young brand like Pyer Moss pull off the combo of impressive live choir and band, set up on a stage which hosted the models on a U-shaped runway so naturally.

The show included a live band and choir.

The colors?

Looks like Pyer Moss is making a name for itself with brilliant coloring. Rich reds, mint greens and electric blues were the standouts in the palette.

Vibrant colors were standing out in the collection.

The men’s wear?

High pleated pants in silk worn with pyjama coats and tough cowboy boots created a languid and fresh silhouette. Also, the leather jacket and pants combos with back and front-color blocking was strong.

The collection included some strong men’s wear: fresh silhouettes and leather combos.

What we didn’t like so much?

Giving your show a rock’n’roll theme and then proceeding to hang piano and guitar shaped bags around your models neck was a bad idea.

Following the rock’n’roll theme bags were shaped like music instruments.

Reebok factor?

Putting the Reebok – Pyer Moss collaboration at the end of the show made the whole experience a bit too long and the collab a bit hidden. In fact, the pieces with Reebok were some of the freshest in the arena of athleisure with good platform sneakers and clever use color blocking throughout.

The show closed with Pyer Moss’ collaboration with sportswear brand Reebok.

Verdict?

With this show Pyer Moss is easily becoming the leader in the growing trend of embracing purpose over profit. This designer nearly seems averse to selling clothes. “I consider myself a leader when I can pay all my artists and collaborators appropriately via my corporate consultings and clients. Feeding families and paying tuitions is a bigger motivation than profit.”

With Pyer Moss designer Kirby Jean-Raymond is following his purpose driven approach to a fashion brand.