Kerby Jean-Raymond’s Pyer Moss is riding high right now.
First, the Brooklyn-born designer put on a master class at its couture show by incorporating decades-worth of Black inventions into the looks, like bottle caps, cell phones, and chess pieces.
Oh, and did we mention that the show took place on the lawn of 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?
Jean-Raymond continues that energy by launching CrateMaster, — an ode to playing basketball with a milk crate instead of a hoop–a narrative short film profiling grassroots inner-city basketball in collaboration with Reebok, where he holds the post of Vice President of Creative Direction.
“For inner-city areas like Brooklyn, where this particular story is told, access to play is a big issue – you have so many people with so little resources and even less space,” Jean-Raymond. “While CrateMaster shines a light on that, it more so defines the power of community and play that motivates these youth to create their own access, to be with one another and to compete.”
The 8 minute and 38-second film was filmed in Raymond’s native of Brooklyn and first screened at Brownsville’s Hilltop Playground this week.
“I was born an underdog: the shortest… the smallest. My brother called me the softest, but all that talk left a chip on my shoulder. And that summer, I decided it was time they put some respect on my name,” begins the film as we stare into a set of piercing brown eyes.
The film then tracks a day in the life of a kid and his friends who are planning a basketball tournament for that night. The winner not only gets the hood’s bragging rights but the latest pair of coveted Iversons. Chronicling the hustle, the film perfectly showcases the trash talk and general competitiveness of streetball in NY.
Watch the film up above and relive it through stills and some images from the screening below.