A Pyer Moss runway show always comes with a few guarantees: an extravagant display and celebration of Blackness, a soundtrack that’ll keep your Shazam app running over time, and a Black history lesson taught through every texture, fabric, and cut that waltz down the runway.
But on Thursday, July 8, the day Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond was set to make history as the first Black-American designer invited by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Collections to make his couture debut, Raymond and his guests were thrown a massive curveball.
Guests peppered the front lawn Villa Lewaro, a 20,000-square-foot mansion built and lived in by Madam C.J. Walker—one of America’s most famous Black self-made millionaires—awaiting the start of the show, until a downpour of rain claimed Pyer Moss’s shine. Staging a show at the estate of a pioneering figure like Madame CJ Walker represented much more than her legacy of Black affluence and power, though.