Pyer Moss has released an excellent new campaign which reveals beauty to be the most natural thing in the world. As the second installment of the label’s “Open Studio” format, the campaign stars fans of the brand, real people who were invited to be a part of the creative process over the course of one day – and the results are unassumingly spectacular.
Photographer Micaiah Carter captures her subjects in a studio set that mimics a bygone New York City apartment, complete with elements like checkerboard flooring, wood panelled walls, and vintage furnishings. Intentionally positioned vases of flowers lend a poetic touch. This nostalgically comforting and chromatically neutral space is a perfect world for Jean-Raymond’s designs to inhabit. The recurring colors of yellow, blue, and orange burst beautifully against the more neutral background. Jean-Raymond’s designs have an obvious influence from 70’s styling, but he combines this with radically inventive and progressive work as well. The complete image feels like a love letter to the past as it should have been, and contained in this is an urgent message for the present and future.
The most important part of the campaign is its people. They are not models but real people (across all ages, shapes, and sizes), and this has a palpable effect on how we see them and how, looking into the camera, they see us. In modeling, they become artistically elevated, transcendent, infinite emblems of beauty and humanity – but they always feel completely honest and natural, finitely human. The campaign’s short film emphasizes this effect, showing the behind-the-scenes process of styling, hair, makeup, and shooting, as well as the small in-between moments of laughter and exploration.
That the entire cast is black makes the campaign a shining example of Black Excellence and Black Imagination, an uplifting image of brilliant black artists at work. But looking at the campaign itself, in all its autonomous beauty, these concerns fade to the background. It is only when we remind ourselves of the state of the world and the industry – with all its tokenism, fetishism, or lack of representation – that we recognize this campaign as an exception. Even as they remind us of this, Kerby Jean-Raymond and his creative team at Pyer Moss have also shown us how beautiful humans are, and how beautiful our world could be.
Pyer Moss Creative Director | Kerby Jean-Raymond Artistic Direction | Anthony Konigbagbe Production | Adbur Rahman Photographer | Micaiah Carter Styling | Antoine Gregory & Sakinah Sela Moving Image | Alex Ashe Hair Direction | Jawara Hair Styling | Latisha Chong, Matt Benns, Mideyah Chong, Allie Jackson, Shamicka Williams, Roddi W. & Helena Moke Makeup | Raisa Flowers Set Design | Natalie Hoffman