I am without a doubt still moved by Pyer Moss’s Couture show from this past Saturday. Being the first African American to showcase at Paris Haute Couture Week, Kerby Jean-Raymond (founder and creative director of Pyer Moss) held his show outside the historic Villa Lewaro Mansion. Jean-Raymond’s highly anticipated show was filled with models dressed in pieces that reminded us of objects made by prominent Black inventors. The estate alone where Pyer Moss designer held his show once belonged to Madame CJ Walker. Walker became the first Black female millionaire all by building a beauty empire from a hair care product for Black women.
The show kicked off with Elaine Brown, former Black Panther Party chairwoman. She stressed the significance of Blackness and the undeniable power we have. The show also featured Brooklyn rapper, 22Gz.
Down below, you’ll find a few pictures of Jean-Raymond’s couture pieces referencing inventions like the super soaker (invented by Lonnie Johnson) the air conditioner (invented by Frederick Jones) the three light traffic light (invented by Garrett Morgan) the lamp shade reminiscent of the light bulb (invented by Lewis Howard Latimer) the refrigerator (invented by Frederick McKinley Jones) along with the cellphone (invented by Henry T. Sampson)
But with all of these amazing inventions, the designer promoted the question: “who invented Black trauma?
Having writing this particular piece, I am reminded of not only these significant inventions made by these prominent Black figures but also made me research and want to learn so much about these individuals and many others who have greatly contributed to the world.
It further made me realize how invaluable our skills are and how truly important it is to tap into those skill sets and celebrate all of our counterparts who tap into these skills.