It Cost To Be Pyer Moss: Good Fashion, Bad Business
At the end of January, The Cut Magazine released an intriguing article, chronologizing the peculiar lifeline of the black-owned fashion brand Pyer Moss. The main gist that I collected from the “expose” is that basically Pyer Moss sold the fashion world a dream and didn’t make good on its promise.
However, the one thing that would have saved Mr. Jean-Raymond could have been his own honesty. I don’t feel as if he should have ever been considered a fashion designer; he is a visual artist that used fashion as his medium for self-expression.
Jean-Raymond made quite a few mistakes.
First, he sold the idea to the masses that he was not only a conscious designer that wanted to symbolically uplift the black race. In reality, I think he just wanted to show his vision of black culture but with real panache.
Second, he created a psychological demand with his shock value through his provocative shows and extravagant lifestyle. However, he failed to create a tangible demand with the available resources that were given to him, limiting his main stake for exposure to being again, shock value.
Third, to be considered a creative means to know how to maintain professional relationships. Kerby was able to get some of the best mentors in the fashion industry that were even able to pull strings that were unheard of for black fashion designers.
The true downfall of the brand is that he literally had too much of a good thing and he didn’t know how to stay on track with his original intention while trying to appeal to a whole different industry. Yes, fashion can be used as an art medium but art and fashion are two different industries.
Pyer Moss served the purpose that Kerby intended for it. However, when entering into the fashion medium, you have to consider that you might not be the only one who wants to wear your art.
So to make everything super limited or not even consider certain items for production is absurd, especially since he spent that much effort getting everybody interested in the brand. It’s framed as if we were expecting too much follow through. Kerby’s intentions seemed to be set on making a controversial but artistic statement through clothes.
However, we were expecting more than that. We were expecting actual fashion; a line, a collection, a drop, something. That’s where he failed. He gave us controversy, culture, and couture but he failed to give us consumerism. Fashion is still a business at the end of the day, not just a medium.
One day, hopefully Pyer Moss can become established as a marketable brand so that consumers can buy into the brand again.