Monday night, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, the most prestigious award for up and coming designers in the US, was handed to Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss. The Haitian-American designer, who was one of our ‘8 Remarkable Black Fashion Designers You Might Not Know’, has become an outspoken and bold sensation in the fashion world since founding Pyer Moss in 2013.

Want to get to know Kerby Jean-Raymond more? Here are 7 things to know about the hottest name in fashion. 

1. He was part of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Art & Style in 2015. 
2. Jean-Raymond’s presentation of Pyer Moss’ Sprink 2016 Menswear Collection during New York Fashion Week put a spotlight on police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement through use of video and street art. The collection was never sold and is currently in the archive of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. 

3. He grew up in East Flatbush and currently resides in Brooklyn. “I drop by my dad’s house all the time,” Jean-Raymond told The New York Times. “That’s where i feel home. I got my keys. I just walk in wherever.”
4. Whenever he has a break from his hectic schedule, Kerby enjoys cooking. He got into the habit of making his own meals when he was bodybuilding. His secret ingredients? Turmeric and pink salt. 

5. Kerby started designing at the age of 14 and landed an apprenticeship with womenswear designer Kay Unger during his sophomore year of high school.  
6. In 2014, Kerby screen printed the names of black men killed by police on a Pyer Moss’ oversized t-shirt. It was never meant for sale but he eventually produced 1,000 “They Have Names” shirts in collaboration with the ACLU. All the proceeds from the sales went to ACLU. 

7. Pyer Moss’ Fall/Winter 2016’s “Double Blind” collection called attention to mental health issues. Kerby has been open about suffering from depression after facing backlash from his Spring/Summer 2016 show titled “Ota, Meet Saartjie”.

Ota Benga was a Congolese man who was put on display in the Bronx Zoo in 1906. Saartjie Baartman was also similarly displayed in Europe in the 1800s. The show garnered much praise and much criticism, causing Kerby major financial blows. Since then, Kerby has gone through some legal battles and bought back full ownership of Pyer Moss from his investors. 

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Roman Debotch is a filmmaker, photographer, and co-founder of blackexcellence.com. Through the platform that is Black Excellence, she has been able to marry her passion for story telling with her passion for issues affecting the black community. Roman earned her B.A. in Film and TV Studies and ventured into the world of video production after college. She produced music, corporate, and event videos for years before co-founding BlackExcellence.com. Since then, she has been working as a contributor to the platform as well as continuing her video production business. The very limited time Roman is away from either writing or shooting a video, she can be found hiking or enjoying one of Southern California's beautiful beaches.

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