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What Kerby Jean-Raymond’s New Reebok Role Means for Fashion

Diversity and inclusion are at the top of fashion’s agenda, and have been for some time. The killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor – to name just two of many – heightened the urgency for tangible change, for an end to racial injustice in our industry, and to get to a point where we see diverse talent at all levels of the industry, from boardroom to entry-level. Last week, Kerby Jean-Raymond, the founder of Pyer Moss, was named Vice President of Creative Direction for Reebok. In this role, he will provide creative leadership and work closely with Reebok’s product, global marketing and development organizations, serve on the Reebok senior leadership team, and report to President Matt O’Toole. Jean-Raymond will also be at the forefront of the brand’s Product With Purpose program, which is part of its commitment to United Against Racism. The program will launch in 2021 and the first products by Jean-Raymond will release in 2022. It is an important move to note and celebrate. As we look to create an industry of equal opportunity for Black talents and designers of color, Jean-Raymond’s new role sends the right message. He becomes the second Black American designer to creatively lead an important brand in our industry – Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton being the first – and the role gives him a leadership opportunity to not just express his powerful voice on a major platform, but to also stand as a role model for future generations dreaming of a career in fashion. Prior, he was artistic director of Reebok Studies, a new division created to foster emerging talent, and this year launched Your Friends in New York with Kering, a fashion, culture, wellness and philanthropy platform to foster the next generation of innovators. “I am thrilled to be evolving my role at Reebok and joining the leadership team as the head of creative direction,” Jean-Raymond said in a statement. “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.” Congratulations, Kerby! Credit: CFDA Newsletter

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