how Telfar has grown into a fashion status symbol
Telfar Clemens is a New York-born, Liberian-American queer who launched his first line of unisex clothing in 2004. Since the early days of existence, the brand's collections were genderless and unisex.
He set off, as displayed on Telfar website, to “make clothes that do not exist on the market — just as you do not exist in the world.” The brand tagline is “not for you, for everyone.”
The brand strives to become an indispensable force, such as Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein, by making accessible and affordable unisex clothes in a wide variety of sizes.
Besides been popularized by celebs like Solange, Selah Marley, Tinashe, A$AP Ferg, etc., Clemens has built a dedicated and cult-like following over the years and the real power comes from its many young, artistic, noncelebrity fans. This way of working results in a brand that has evolved so much in the last years, that has achieved a community status.
When compared to luxury brands from other designers, TELFAR IS AFFORDABLE, BUT WITHOUT LOSING QUALITY. Its latest bet is the smoothest leather shoes we are about to get to know better below.
Inspired by the brand's statement piece, the Unisex Shopping Bag, these shoes are "An Everyday boot for Everyone." Featuring the signature embossed logo handles, topstitched center seam, pointed toe, and sturdy Vibram rubber sole, the boots are made 100% of genuine leather.
Also inspired by the Shopping Bag, the Leather Loafer features a pointed toe and sturdy Vibram sole, and the brand's embossed logo. This pair is also made 100% of leather, in Italy — for certified quality, of course.
And in case you missed it, Telfar recently joined UGG in a partnership and we tell you how to get yours to pack properly for the holidays here. The bag is made of quality materials like suede, so will follow Telfar's growth for a long time, regardless of the flow.
Different publics, different reasons to buy it. For example, Kiara Ventura, a 23-year-old curator from the Bronx, said for The Cut, she’s proud to be carrying a bag by a black designer.
“Time and time again, luxury brands have failed at their advertising and marketing because there’s obviously few to no black or brown people on their team. When I look at ads for Telfar, I see black and brown people, I see queer people, I see how it’s a genderless brand. I think it’s about time the world supports a genuinely inclusive brand.”
Telfar’s vision on diversity and visibility led it to be perennially labeled as “emerging", when actually it’s the fashion world that now needs to catch up.
And don't forget to check more apparel news and the UGG x Telfar collab.