A legacy sportswear brand just made a major investment in Black creativity: on Wednesday morning, Reebok announced that longtime collaborator, Pyer Moss founder Kerby Jean-Raymond, is its new Vice President of Creative Direction, effectively making him the brand’s global creative director, according to the designer’s publicist.
“I am thrilled to be evolving my role at Reebok and joining the leadership team as the head of Creative Direction,” said Jean-Raymond in a statement by Reebok. The designer has been in collaboration with the brand for the past for years on his Pyer Moss by Reebok capsule and launched a division as a new artistic director for the brand last year. “I welcome this opportunity to help invigorate the brand with new ideas, while also focusing on instilling a sense of social purpose into our work,” Jean-Raymond added.
Jean-Raymond has certainly been doing the work amid the crisis brought on by the pandemic. He was among the first American designers to launch a COVID-19 relief initiative under his label, making his studio a donation center for PPE equipment and creating a financial assistance program for minority and women-owned small creative businesses. This, while still producing collections that recently earned the 2019 The Root 100 honoree this year’s CFDA Award for American Menswear Designer of the Year as well as Harlem’s Fashion Row ‘Designer of the Year.’ Additionally, the label produced a documentary on the creation of its groundbreaking Spring-Summer 2020 presentation and recently announced a partnership with luxury conglomerate Kering on Jean-Raymond’s ‘Your Friends in New York,’ “a groundbreaking platform that will merge fashion, culture, philanthropy and wellness to form an eco-system of creativity that reimagines how consumers discover and interact with brands,” says his reps.
Further explaining his newest role, Reebok’s statement read:
In this role, Jean-Raymond will provide creative leadership across all design disciplines for Reebok. He will work closely with Reebok’s Product, Global Marketing and Development organizations to ensure his design strategy is consistently implemented across all brand touchpoints. Jean-Raymond will serve on the Reebok senior leadership team, and report to President Matt O’Toole. ... Jean-Raymond will be at the forefront of Reebok’s ‘Product with Purpose’ program as part of the brand’s United Against Racism commitments, which will launch in 2021. The first products under Jean-Raymond’s creative direction will release starting in 2022.
“Kerby is a fashion visionary with a bold approach who has established himself as a leader and a passionate activist,” said O’Toole. “We are incredibly excited about the impact he will have on Reebok from a design and brand purpose perspective and for him to bring his unique voice and direction to the Reebok brand more broadly.”
“This is certainly a big opportunity for both Reebok and for Kerby,” O’Toole continued. “He understands the value of our rich heritage and iconic silhouettes and how he can build on that and take Reebok in an exciting and evolved direction.”