Kering Partners With Kerby Jean-Raymond on New Creative Platform

PARISKerby Jean-Raymond has joined forces with Kering chief François-Henri Pinault to promote what is being billed as the “next generation of innovators.”

The Pyer Moss founder and the French luxury conglomerate on Thursday revealed the creation of a platform dubbed “Your Friends in New York” that will merge disciplines from fashion and music to art, philanthropy and wellness to reinvent how consumers discover and interact with brands.

The platform aims to bring together brands, artists and the community in various formats including multi-day events that will also serve as the next evolution of Pyer Moss fashion shows.

Jean-Raymond has challenged industry conventions by showing on his own schedule, addressing political and social issues, and blending in performance elements in runway shows that have electrified New York Fashion Week.

The initiative will house divisions devoted to events and experiences, an incubator-inspired program, philanthropic initiatives and a merchandise label. The platform unofficially launched in March, but the announcement was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is important to me to create and work on ventures that are future forward, involve the community at large and that will continue to help others grow in the fashion and art space,” Jean-Raymond said in a statement.

Pyer Moss RTW Spring 2020

Pyer Moss RTW Spring 2020  Masato Onoda/WWD

The two men initially met in 2019. “Your Friends in New York” was subsequently conceived by Jean-Raymond, with Kering as partner. Its first initiative was financed by a personal donation by Jean-Raymond, and a supporting donation from Kering, in favor of marginalized communities impacted by COVID-19.

“I was impressed by his unique perspective of creativity, innovation, business and social issues. What struck me immediately was his willingness to invent a new, singular model, freeing himself from the usual constraints of the fashion system,” said Pinault, who is chairman and chief executive officer of Kering.

“It was only natural for Kering to support this project that seeks to empower new artistic talents, to encourage the diversity of creativity and to give a voice to the younger generation of innovators,” he added.

The incubator portion of the program will provide support for emerging designers and help them to grow and explore innovative and disruptive new business models, while the community outreach will include mental health services for children and residents of public housing.

In a statement on Instagram, Jean-Raymond said he was inspired by successful entrepreneurs ranging from Snap Inc. ceo Evan Spiegel to Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym used by the person or persons who developed Bitcoin.

“What are they passionate about, even when the world has titled them ‘successful.’ For example, what new sounds are Rick Rubin and Just Blaze experimenting with that they aren’t ready to share with the world? What inventions are Evan Spiegel and Mark Zuckerberg holding onto in their garage? What script is Spike Lee hoping to do that he doesn’t think will get supported?” he wrote.

“For Elon Musk, during his early days building PayPal, his mind was on SpaceX and Tesla — my mind has been here, and I’d like to introduce you to my venture ‘Your Friends In New York.’ We promise to be imperfect but always willing to try,” he added.

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