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According to WWD, Kerby will be vice-president of creative direction at the company, providing “creative leadership and work closely with Reebok’s product, global marketing and development organizations to ensure consistency across all areas.”
By now, Jean-Raymond has familiarity with the iconic sneaker brand. The two have worked together for the past four years on Reebok by Pyer Moss collections (which always sold out within minutes and personally left me heartbroken every time I couldn’t snag a pair). Jean-Raymond artistic nature lead to results, with the designer receiving Footwear News’ Collaboration of the Year Award in 2018. A year later, he snagged the FNAA Person of the Year Award and became the artistic director of Reebok Studies, a newly-launched division within Reebok created to foster emerging talent.
This year alone, Kerby has shown no signs of slowing down. He was named CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year, along with receiving an award for Designer of the Year from Harlem Fashion Row. In addition, he launched Your Friends in New York — a fashion, culture, wellness and philanthropy platform to foster the next generation of innovators — with Kering.
In addition to his new title, Jean-Raymond will be at the forefront of Reebok’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. In addition, he will serve on the Reebok senior leadership team and report to president Matt O’Toole.
“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.”
In an Instagram post, Jean-Raymond expanded on the statement: “I started working with Reebok in 2017 after meeting Damion Presson. I was brought in to support the launch of a shoe at the time called the ‘DMX Fusion.’ We made our own version called Experiment 1 and were asked to make some apparel to support one of their retail partners at a mass-market price point. I’m not really too good at following rules, so I didn’t pretend to try.”
He continued, “Instead we made a series of collections we believed in, incorporated our collaboration into our runways, and created content that spoke to what we were already doing at Pyer Moss. Campaign 1, Seven Mothers (Campaign 2) and a series of videos called ‘Imma Ball Anyway’ were some of my favorites. Many of these projects were a result of us seeing how far we could go before someone yelled ‘uncle.’ No one did, and I was grateful.”
He continued, “Today, that collaboration will evolve. Pyer Moss is not just a partner of Reebok, but I am now the creative director, globally. Or technically…vice president, creative direction. To my Reebok fam, there’s a lot of work to do. Can our mind-sets collectively evolve to serve the future? Are we inclusive enough? Are we bold enough? Are we challenging tradition enough? Are we ready to unlearn? It’s going to be difficult. I’m ready though.”
We can’t wait to see what’s next for the Reebok brand and all that Kerby will bring to the role!
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