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Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond Slams ‘Business of Fashion’s’ Inclusivity, Mag Responds

Aliette - Front Row - September 2019 - New York Fashion Week: The Shows

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Fashion’s go to trade magazine is under fire and for all the right reasons. One of the game’s hottest designers has them under pressure.

Hypebeast is reporting that Business of Fashion, the world’s leading trade publication on fashion, has admitted they have some work to do. Earlier this week the editorial staff announced their annual #BoF500, a list that names the top 500 most influential people. The lineup included Kerby Jean-Raymond, founder of menswear label Pyer Moss. He has since declined the recognition due to their insensitivity at their accompanying BoF‘s 500 in Paris and then some.

Raymond wrote a lengthy letter on Medium accusing the staff and industry as a whole of cultural appropriation. “Homage without empathy and representation is appropriation” he declared. “Instead, explore your own culture, religion and origins. By replicating ours and excluding us — you prove to us that you see us as a trend. Like, we gonna die black, are you.”

Naturally the intensive piece circulated quickly forcing Business Of Fashion editor-in-chief Imran Amed to respond.

Amed made it clear that Raymond is not alone. “Kerby has every right to voice his concerns and we respect his perspective. He is also right about several things. As Kerby points out, the fashion industry has often treated inclusivity as a trend, putting diverse faces in our ad campaigns, on our runways, on our magazine covers and, yes, at our parties because it’s cool and of the moment. But I can assure you that this topic is not a trend for BoF” he wrote.

Over the last year, several high-profile brands have been guilty of incorporating culturally insensitive imagery. This specifically caused Gucci to create more opportunities for people of color after their infamous sweater that resembled blackface imagery. You can read Amed’s formal response in full here.

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