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Pyer Moss menswear designer Kerby Jean-Raymond, who has fans in Usher and MS MR, will be debuting his womenswear collection at New York Fashion Week in September, but that’s not all the 28-year-old has in store this season.
The designer — best recognized for creating a “They Have Names” T-shirt that listed the names of those victimized by police, which was made in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting — is continuing the conversation of racism and the police with a film that will screen during his runway show, reports The Washington Post‘s Robin Givhan.
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Those featured in the film include New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, artist Kehinde Wiley, Givhan herself, as well as Nicole Bell, whose fiancé Sean Bell was killed by New York City police officers in 2008, and Wanda Johnson, whose son Oscar Grant‘s story was portrayed in the film Fruitvale Station, starring Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer.
While the T-shirt that Jean-Raymond designed caused him to become weary about the way he was being perceived (“I felt trapped and pigeon-holed. I was trapped. It was a narrative that didn’t make sense,” he told Givhan), the designer is making the video his opportunity to navigate the conversation now.
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“I don’t think the narrative I was stuck in — the ‘black’ designer category — was going to go away anytime soon,” he said. “I can at least control the conversation. I can say, well, I’m an educated black designer.”
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