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Being an African American designers in today's America

From Kerby Jean-Raymond to Tyler, The Creator the commitment of black culture in fashion

Being an African American designers in today's America From Kerby Jean-Raymond to Tyler, The Creator the commitment of black culture in fashion

After winning the CFDA Award and being appointed as Reebok's global creative director, Kerby Jean-Raymond's has become an increasingly prominent name in the African American social landscape. A role that recently led him to the launch of "Your Friends" in New York, a new platform created together with Kering to combine fashion, art, music, philanthropy and well-being with the aim of "forming an ecosystem of creativity that reinvents the way consumers discover and interact with brands. "

Since the launch of Pyer Moss in 2013, the label has been busy building a narrative that talks about the heritage of the African American community, in order to create a brand totally devoted to Black Heritage. "For my part, Pyer Moss was introducing a new generation to fashion that previously didn't care about activism, music and collaboration," he said in an interview for The Cut. The role of Raymond and his brand helped strongly to relaunch the concept of social commitment on the part of fashion: the New York designer, for his latest fashion shows, rented the Weeksville Heritage Center and The King's Theater in Brooklyn, where last September he showed for the first time the “Vote or Die” a reinterpretation of the t-shirt and campaign first released in 2004 by Sean P." Diddy "Combs. The version of Jean-Raymond out today is designed to encourage voter registration and highlight non-profit organization "Rock the Vote". All proceeds will be donated to "Rock the Vote" and buyers will have the opportunity to register to vote directly on the brand's website.

The desire to give full awareness of the voting power to citizens has turned into a phenomenon that has involved many realities such as Dover Street Market, Foot Locker, Micheal Kors, Kenneth Cole, Gap and Patagonia above all. The latter has developed a tag on its denim that reads "Vote the asshole out" to emphasize the importance of having to elect "climate leaders". A need also highlighted by the creator of No Vacancy Inn and Denim Tears, Tremaine Emory, with her continuous work on social injustices. In 2017, for example, following the death of her mother, she released t-shirts for the benefit of Every Mother Counts, an organization dedicated to providing health care to mothers around the world.

In 2018 he collaborated with artist Brendan Fowler, while earlier this year he released a capsule with Levi's inspired by the history of cotton in the United States and its connection with slavery. And it is no coincidence that the launch of his first collection is concise with the 400th anniversary of the day slavery began in America. “I want people who are not African Americans to feel connected to our struggle. I want African Americans to feel proud of what we've been through and what we've accomplished" he told Dazed in an interview. The importance of this vote was also confirmed by Tyler, the Creator with a post launched on Converse's Instagram profile, debuting young people to vote and announcing that this will be the first time he too will go to a polling station.

In an investigation revealed by Channel4, it emerged that during the 2016 elections more than 3.5 million African Americans were targeted as "deterrence". According to the investigations, the goal of Trump's campaign was to dissuade them from fully supporting the Democratic Party by targeting them with "dark ads" on their Facebook feed, attacking Hillary Clinton and, in some cases, claiming that the Democratic candidate does not he had sympathies for African Americans. This choice is partly due to the turnout rate in the United States, one of the lowest among developed countries with only 56% of people voting in the 2016 elections. Generation Z constitutes one in ten voters, while according to Pew the next presidential electorate will be the most diverse ever, with one-third of eligible voters represented people of color.

The real strength of Kerbito lies in having immediately directed its work towards a very specific niche of consumers: "Do we want to continue to accept and ask for help from a system that does not represent us? As you can see, most of these tips they are all white, most of the creative directors are white and when blacks are asked to help run these organizations, most of the time we are treated the same way Africa is treated. We have a lot of creative resources and they take those. resources and sell them abroad" he told The Cut. Interviewed for the Good Morning Vogue series in the same magazine he explained why that will be his last interview, for the time being. He will begin to adopt the “Beyoncè approach”,  he will  only report when he has something of value to tell, especially to avoid being misunderstood in his statements. His work has become a shock wave impossible to miss, and the most important fashion media and magazines are realizing it. Glaring examples of this are her blue dress, worn by her fellow designer Aurora James in a painting by artist Jordan Casteel on the cover of the September issue of Vogue and, simultaneously, Angela Davis on the cover of September's Vanity Fair with a white Pyer Moss dress.

The clear line drawn by Kerbito seems to have been taken up by many other brands that have taken a stand. If the role of a brand is to want to convey positive values through their clothes, they can't turn their heads the other way. With the consumer at the center of the market, representing them will soon become a duty for these fashion giants.