Issa Rae Wears Belt with N-Word to CFDA Awards Dress, Takes Aim at Kanye West in Monologue
And Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond talks about Rae's statement-making dress
CFDA Awards host Issa Rae had social media buzzing on Monday night — thanks to both her bold outfit choice and her monologue.
The Insecure star didn’t shy away from mocking rapper and designer Kanye West, husband of Influencer of the Year winner Kim Kardashian.
“I’m about as fashionable as Kanye is black. Only when it’s convenient,” she said, according to USA Today. “That joke was my choice, just like slavery.”
West came under fire in May for a TMZ interview in which he claimed that slavery was a “choice.” The statements followed days of unpredictable behavior, in which he praised President Trump and referenced the “Sunken Place” from the film Get Out (a comparison wife Kardashian West told Elle was “dumb”).
Rae walked the carpet wearing a custom Pyer Moss blue gown that featured over 180,000 Swarovski crystals — and it had an added accessory that grabbed even more attention.
Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond spoke to PEOPLE all about his work with Rae, and how the complex look came together.
“[It was] interesting and new for me because a lot of it was done via phone and pictures because of our work schedules,” he said. “The sketching process was very fun.”
As for her belt, which featured the words “Every N—- Is a Star,” it was all Kerby’s idea. It’s the title of a song by Boris Gardiner that played during Pyer Moss’ fall/winter 2018 runway show (and also appeared on the soundtrack for Oscar-winning best picture Moonlight).
And many on Twitter praised Rae and Raymond for their choice.
Overall Raymond said working with Rae was “important” simply because “it’s Issa.”
“Comedically, she’s my spirit animal. It’s also very important because [the CFDAs are] in Brooklyn, a mile away from where I grew up,” he said about the awards’ new venue this year.
But the gown wasn’t the host’s only look. For the show, Rae changed into a bright green Sergio Hudson double-breasted suit.