In a fashion statement turned political, Kerby Jean-Raymond, the designer behind Pyer Moss, presented a line inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement at New York Fashion Week SS 2016 on Thursday.
The collection was truly style with purpose, but it almost didn't make it down the runway, he tells Style Mic.
"I decided to show the clothes last-minute. I just wanted to show the video," he said referring to a 10-minute video he played before his show began.
The video showed footage of the Walter Scott South Carolina killing and other protests highlighting police brutality. It ended with Eric Garner in a chokehold saying, "I can't breathe."
Those final words were mirrored through his Spring 2016 designs that crossed the runway soon after. Jean-Raymond's collection included jackets and sneakers with "I can't breathe" and simply "Breathe Breathe Breathe" written on them in a spray paint effect.
The 28-year-old designer has been open about his stance on police brutality in the past. Quartz reports that he claims he was stop and frisked by police at least a dozen times by the time he turned 18 years old.
His statement may have a negative effect on his brand though. He tells Fashionista.com that after he released info to the media on his NYFW focus he was dropped from a major retail account in Europe.
"They won't say why," he said.