Success Stories

How This Haitian Designer Ascended the Ranks of the Fashion World to Win Its Most Prestigious Award

Growing up in Brooklyn with a single parent, this young designer describes his incredible story to Gerard Adams.
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Entrepreneur, angel investor, self-made millionaire at 24
3 min read
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In this episode of Entrepreneur Network partner Gerard Adams' Leaders Create Leaders, the host talks with Kerby Jean-Raymond, fashion world star and the founder of acclaimed fashion line, Pyer Moss. Jean-Raymond won Vogue's 2018 CFDA Fashion Fund Award. 

When he was growing up in East Flatbush, Brooklyn within a Haitian community, Jean-Raymond took a job at 13 to make ends meet at a sneaker shop. His teachers recognized he was especially talented at pattern-making and drawing. Eventually, this clear example of talent lead to an internship with New York designer Kay Gruber when he was just 14 years old.  

This increase in opportunities and access noticeably helped open doors for Kerby. He shares with Adams that those opportunities that may have been denied him earlier in life were granted to him later. In time, the designer noticed he had entered a new world where he was interacting with everything unfamiliar -- from food to approaches to living.

At 16 years old, he was asked to start building the fashion line Marchesa, at a point where his apprenticeship leader, Gruber, was overloaded and trusted the young designer's experience. Eventually, his role with the brand led the line to gain prestige in the industry, establishing it on the red carpet and inside stores.

The opportunities became so immense that Jean-Raymond even considered, at one point, foregoing college and continuing to flesh out his own line of t-shirts and skateware. Jean-Raymond eventually settled on the college route, where he admits to receiving a wider, more balanced perspective of the world, one where he was essentially drawn out of his bubble in East Flatbush. His rise to the top of the fashion world was not without its bumps, but the eventual pay-off proved to be astounding.

Click play to hear all of Kerby Jean-Raymond's story.

Related: Why This Accomplished Entrepreneur Filters All His Endeavors Through Spreading Diversity

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See more episodes of Leaders Create Leaders Season 1 and 2 on Gerard Adam's YouTube channel

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