Politics Comes to the New York Runways

Vanessa Friedman


A choir clad entirely in white and brought together for one night only by the singer-songwriter Raphael Saadiq stood atop risers and began a soaring, emotive performance that began with “Everything’s Got to Get Better” and then ranged through Gil Scott-Heron’s “Home is Where the Hatred Is,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” and Kendrick Lamar’s “All right.” It was a fitting backdrop to the designer Kerby Jean-Raymond’s quietly calibrated ode to the black cowboy, the men he described as being an oft-ignored part of the history of the West, including James Beckwourth, an explorer and fur trader, and Bill Pickett, a rodeo star. –