This NYFW Show Will Address Racism in Policing

Photo: Samantha

Menswear label Pyer Moss will make its womenswear debut at this coming New York Fashion Week, but that’s not the only reason to anticipate the show. Designer Kerby Jean-Raymond is best known for creating a “They Have Names” T-shirt listing the names of African-American men victimized by the police. He made the shirt in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting. Now, the Washington Posts Robin Givhan reports that Jean-Raymond will screen a video on the subject of racism and the police at his spring 2016 presentation. Among those featured in the film will be Victor Cruz, Kehinde Wiley, and Givhan herself.

He is also speaking to Nicole Bell, the widow of Sean Bell, who was shot by the police in 2008, and Wanda Johnson, the mother of Oscar Grant, whose story inspired the film Fruitvale Station. Jean-Raymond tells the Post that after the T-shirt went viral, he chafed at the label of being a politically charged designer whose work is about race, but has since embraced the identity. “I don’t think the narrative I was stuck in — the ‘black’ designer category — was going to go away anytime soon. I can at least control the conversation,” he says. “I can say, ‘Well, I’m an educated black designer.’”