As attention began to shift Wednesday to medical professionals at the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, and how they are facing dire shortages of basic supplies, Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond stepped in to try to help fill the void.
The New York designer, who grew up in Flatbush, posted on Instagram Wednesday explaining that his sister, a medical professional, has been exposed to COVID-19, and that her health and that of her elderly patients has been compromised due to a lack of N95 masks. That story, and others about nurses resorting to rewearing masks after cleaning them with bleach, prompted him to convert his New York office into a donation center.
Jean-Raymond included his address on 27th Street in the post, asking for people to mail donations of masks and Latex gloves, and noted he will be contributing $5,000 to purchase supplies, if anyone can DM leads about where to buy them. The post received nearly 2,500 likes in an hour.
In a second post, he unveiled plans to set aside $50,000 for minority and female-owned independent businesses in distress that may be in trouble and unable to make payroll, asking people to contact an email address with the domain “yourfriendsinnewyork” for consideration. That post received nearly 5,000 likes in an hour.
Since launching in 2013, Jean-Raymond has made his business a platform for political activism and social justice, producing a short film about police brutality, traveling to North Dakota with donations for pipeline protesters, and creating a collection about economic inequality. HIs efforts follow several others in the fashion industry, including Giorgio Armani, Donatella Versace, Marco Bizzarri of Gucci, Prada and Moncler’s Remo Ruffini, who have all donated funds and supplies for the coronavirus fight in Italy.