Pyer Moss is the label of the rising New York-based designer Kerby Jean-Raymond, recognized for his pioneering approach to fashion that fuses the personal and the political. Pentagram has created a new brand identity for the line that captures the unique sensibility of the designer and his original vision.
The identity was incorporated into the design of garments at Pyer Moss’ Fall/Winter 2018-19 collection, recently presented at New York Fashion Week. The well-received show also introduced a partnership with Reebok that includes a ready-to-wear line inspired by streetwear, Reebok Classic x Pyer Moss, and a collaboration on new DMX Run 10 sneakers.
Pentagram worked closely with Jean-Raymond to develop the identity, which coincides with a reintroduction of the Pyer Moss label (which first launched in 2013) after Jean-Raymond bought out his partners and assumed full control. Under Jean-Raymond’s direction, the label has explored the concept of fashion as a platform for commentary on American society and culture, in innovative, well-crafted forms that are simultaneously classic and contemporary.
To develop the identity, the designers researched a wide variety of materials to establish an understanding of Jean-Raymond’s influences, ideas and goals for the brand. His work embraces a sense of nostalgia in fashion, especially in streetwear, and he wanted the brand identity to feel new but also timeless and lasting. The Reebok collaboration was already in the works, and he needed a wordmark that could function on sportswear as well as high fashion.
The team worked with Jean-Raymond to identify key brand attributes that are important to Pyer Moss, such as craft, connection, balance, strength, outspokenness and perseverance. They also looked at influences like Jean-Raymond’s Haitian-American heritage and love for music and collaborations with musicians such as Rihanna, Erykah Badu and Vic Mensa.
The carefully constructed wordmark and symbol echo the forms found in the fashion. The logotype is set in the precise but friendly sans serif Walsheim (designed by Grilli Type), modified slightly by the Pentagram designers so the wordmark can work both stacked and one line. When stacked, the "M" was naturally the widest letter, so the width has been decreased, and the angles matched within the "M" to the "Y" and the leg of the "R." These small adjustments allow the wordmark to be used in expressive ways without worrying about misalignment and scale.
The monogram-like symbol stacks the letter “P” on top of the letter “M,” or conversely, a “M” that holds up a “P.” The symbol grew out of imagery that resonated with the designers and Jean-Raymond during their research: a drawing of Atlas carrying the world on his shoulders, and the shape of a loudspeaker or megaphone. The symbol evokes a sense of connection, amplification and support.
The framework provides a kit of parts that can be extended and adapted as Pyer Moss continues to grow and experiment. For instance, in the Reebok by Pyer Moss logotype, the “by” flips the letter “P” from the wordmark to make the “b.” The designers continue working with Jean-Raymond and Pyer Moss on various applications and expressions of the brand.