Kerby Jean-Raymond, founder of menswear label Pyer Moss, has created a sorely needed fund to support minority- and women-owned small businesses impacted by the coronavirus.
Last week, the award-winning fashion designer pledged $50K via Instagram to help small businesses cover payroll and pressing costs. Days later, his friend Jen Rubio helped him double it. Since then, they have helped nearly 40 businesses stay afloat.
“We have donated over $78,000 of it so far to 38 businesses, including seven fashion brands, three health and beauty brands, two wellness studios, five cafes and restaurants, three childhood education initiatives, two concept stores, and more community-focused creative businesses,” he shared in an update Tuesday.
Kerby has also turned his NYC office into a donation hub for medical supplies.
“I’ve been getting an influx of messages from medical professionals on the front lines, who have been treating this pandemic, about their shortage of basic supplies,” he wrote in a separate post on Instagram. “Many of them, including my sister, have not had enough N95 masks and some are without gloves. My sister was exposed to COVID-19 and her elder patients’ safety has been compromised due to some professionals having to wear makeshift masks.”
Since then, his team has collected 7,300 masks and over 1,000 units of gloves and face protection. “We also used our local factories to create 1,000 mask covers to prolong the use of N95masks, as well,” he shared. In addition, he donated $5,000 to buy more, along with his lawyers who also donated $5,000.
Kudos to Kerby and his crew for helping to provide an “imperfect solution” (as he put it) and peace to struggling businesses and medical professionals.
Businesses in need can apply for assistance at yourfriendsin.nyc. To donate medical supplies, email [email protected] or mail donations to Your Friends In New York, 242 W 27th St., 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001.