by Stephen Garner
Photo: Craig McDean / Art + Commerce

Kering and designer Kerby Jean-Raymond have teamed up to create a new platform designed to empower the next generation of innovators.

Called ‘Your Friends in New York,’ the new platform will merge fashion, music, art, philanthropy, and wellness to form an eco-system of creativity that reimagines how consumers discover and interact with brands, including Jean-Raymond’s own brand, Pyer Moss.

‘Your Friends in New York’ (YFINY) consists of multiple divisions including an event and experiences arm, an incubator inspired program, philanthropic initiatives, and a merchandise label.

Conceived by Jean-Raymond, ‘Your Friends in New York’ was set in motion after a meeting with Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, in 2019. ‘Your Friends in New York’ was then set to launch in March 2020, but due to the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic globally, the announcement was put on hold.

“It is important to me to create and work on ventures that are future-forward, involve the community at large and that will continue to help others grow in the fashion and art space,” said Jean-Raymond.

“When I met Kerby in 2019, I was impressed by his unique perspective of creativity, innovation, business, and social issues,” added Pinault. “What struck me immediately was his willingness to invent a new, singular model, freeing himself from the usual constraints of the fashion system. It was only natural for Kering to support this project that seeks to empower new artistic talents, to encourage the diversity of creativity, and to give a voice to the younger generation of innovators.”

‘Your Friends in New York’ will further evolve to include an incubator inspired program that will enable diverse emerging designers to grow and explore innovative and disruptive new business models.

‘Your Friends in New York’ quickly mobilized in March 2020 with a personal donation from Jean- Raymond as part of the organization’s mission to aid marginalized communities impacted by the pandemic. Kering aided YFINY’S COVID-19 relief efforts with a supporting donation. Moving forward, ‘Your Friends in New York’ plans to continue to focus on pressing issues in local communities, including but not limited to providing mental health services for children and residents of public housing primarily.

This new platform will be the connective tissue that will bring brands, artists, and the community together in different forms including multi-day events that will also serve as the next evolution of the Pyer Moss fashion show. Additional details on each program under ‘Your Friends in New York’ will be made public in the coming months.