“Black Lives Matter,” the political movement sparked by the deaths of black Americans at the hands of white police, has landed on the Fashion Week runway.
The collection of designer Kerby Jean-Raymond for the Pyer Moss label launched on Thursday night with gripping and now familiar videos of police violence. The choking death of Eric Garner. The teenage girl thrown to the ground outside a Texas pool party. The running down of a suspect as lights flashed. The smashing of a car window, and then cries.
Until the day before the show, Jean-Raymond said, he was not so sure he would even include the clothes.
“I was making a collection. I didn’t know I was actually gonna show it,” he said. “I was gonna kind of like hold up a mirror to the room with a video.”
He even invited some family members of victims of police brutality to sit in his show’s front row, a coveted position.
Some fashion and front-row regulars were upset and said they would not attend, Jean-Raymond said.
The 28-year-old designer called it disheartening.
“I’m black; I’m a designer; I’m living in a time when this is happening,” he said.
“You’re 28 years old; you’re watching kids younger than you who are being killed by grown men who claim fear as an excuse,” he added.
He said his show was about defying stereotypes — “the thug, the entertainer” — and redefining the black narrative in the US.
During the show’s opening video, which combined the images of confrontation with a range of interviews with singer Usher and others on the need for change, people in the audience gasped or murmured. In an added touch, artist Gregory Siff moved among the models on the runway, quickly tagging the mostly stark, sportish clothes.
On the back of one robe, Siff scrawled “Breathe Breathe Breathe,” a likely reference to Garner’s repeated plea: “I can’t breathe.”
Even some models did not know what they had signed up for until they heard the video begin backstage.
“I was so blown away by it; it was unreal,” British model Abby Clee said. “I knew I was definitely moved. I was a bit teary, but thought: ‘No, I shouldn’t cry when I’m about to go out.’ I think a lot of people were quite moved, by their faces. Obviously, it means quite a lot to them.”
Klee said she was honored to be in the show.
“I thought the message that they’re sending was absolutely amazing,” she said.
The designer’s father, Jean-Claude Jean-Raymond, got a hug from his son as soon as the show finished. He said the show’s theme had been a surprise even for him.
“It was really, really nice,” he said.
Additional reporting by Nicole Evatt
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a