Reebok appoints Kerby Jean-Raymond as vice president of creative direction
Kerby Jean-Raymond is showing no sign of slowing down in 2020. Earlier this month, the designer, who is actively involved in a number of social causes, particularly the Black Lives Matter movement, launched a design and innovation platform called "Your Friend in New York" with the support of Kering.
And now the Haitian-American designer is taking on new responsibilities at Reebok: the Pyer Moss founder is becoming vice president of creative direction at the Adidas-owned brand. The designer has been collaborating with the American sportswear label since 2017 and took over as head of its new division dedicated to collaborations and creative exploration, Reebok Studios, in July 2019.
Little over a year later, his ideas must have struck the right note with the management of the brand, as he will now be joining its leadership team under the direction of Reebok president Matt O'Toole.
"I am thrilled to be evolving my role at Reebok and joining the leadership team as the head of creative direction," said the designer in a release. "I welcome this opportunity to help invigorate the brand with new ideas, while also focusing on instilling a sense of social purpose into our work."
Jean-Raymond will therefore be bringing his creative vision to bear on all aspects of the brand, from its sportswear offering to its urban Classics line. The first pieces produced under his watch will arrive in stores in early 2022. Reebok reported revenues of 1.75 billion euros in 2019.
The appointment of Jean-Raymond should also stir up speculations about the future of creative direction at Adidas. For months now, Kanye West, whose Yeezy label was developed with the sportswear brand, has been making his desire to take on this responsibility known.
Since the exit of the brand's former creative director, Paul Gaudio, was announced, the American rapper has returned to the question. "My first pillar when I'm on the board of adidas will be an adidas Nike collaboration to support community growth," he tweeted amid posts on politics, religion and his analysis of the music industry.
Of course, the campaign could be just another farfetched fantasy from the controversial artist, but it's often difficult to tell where reality begins and ends with West. In any case, Jean-Raymond's latest promotion proves that big-name sportswear companies are more than willing to bring in strong, creative figures, right at the top of their organigrams.
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