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  • Writer's pictureMia Denean

Black In Fashion: Telfar Clemens

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

Designer Telfar Clemens In Home
Photo Credit: Harpars Bazaar

Born in Queens, NY in 1985, American designer, Telfar Clemens is currently one of the most influential designers in the fashion industry. Telfar, founded in 2005 out of Bushwick Brooklyn, has gone from an underground streetwear brand to being one of the most talked about brands featured in Magazines, Runways, and The Met Gala, and taking over our social media feeds everywhere.

The Black-owned gender-free brand ranges from clothing, accessories, shoes, jewelry, and the most popular, Tote Bags. Referred to as the Bushwick Birkin the name comes from its Origins and the fact that it is over 60x less! then your average Birkin by Hermès which can retail starting at $10,000. Does the bag come in three sizes at three different price points that compared to its other "It" bag competitors come at an insanely "affordable price" The hardest part? obtaining one. The bags are known to sell out within minutes but you know I got y’all with some tips and tricks to help secure one if you’re purchasing directly through Telfar’s website.

Telfar's Rise In Popularity

In 2019 the company grossed an estimated 2 million dollars in revenue which was a huge leap from their $106,000 revenue in 2016 mostly attributed to the gain in popularity of their classic TC logo tote bag. This rise in popularity can partly be accredited to the rise in consumerism, buying from black-owned brands during the Black Lives Matter Protests of 2019-2020 and the Covid-19 Pandemic. Clemens's message of inclusivity and affordability attracted a wider audience during a time of social divides, racial injustices, and a pandemic that left a lot of people engaged on social media and shopping more than ever from the comfort of their homes and cell phones. Having an affordable everyday bag that was now deemed as one of the "It bags" of the Fashion Industry gave people a sense of style and status through this difficult time. Oprah gave the brand her seal of approval when she included the iconic tote in her lineup of Oprah's Favorites' for 2020.

 "It's Not for you It's for Everyone" The brand's message of inclusivity has been present since its early beginnings as it is a gender-free brand. Having a brand that anyone can shop at no matter their race, gender, sexuality, or social and economic status has been welcomed and embraced by many over the years. On their website, unlike some of their counterparts, Telfar does not have gender-specific clothing or accessory items. The brand is meant to be consumed by everyone, making it unique.

What Telfar Means to Me

I love what Telfar Clemens and his partners are bringing to the fashion industry during a beautiful time of seeing Black business owners gain the recognition and respect they have earned that is often overlooked. As a young black woman born and raised in New York, his designs give me that reminiscent feeling of y2k fashion but with a modern influence. Telfar’s latest collaboration with Moose Knuckles immediately takes me back to Winter in New York with that early 00s styles, incorporating that urban influence but buying into modern times with some pieces featuring that puffer style and quilted design that we loved then and love now!  Having a bag that I can fill with my daily essentials, take on the go with me every day but also being able to switch it up when I wanna get cute and feel luxurious for a day or night, and travel with is simply amazing. The solid color design of the tote bag also doesn’t require too much thinking when it comes to pairing the bag with my style for that day. 

Tips On Securing That Bag!

If you’ve been trying to get your hands on one but find yourself coming up short trust me I know it can feel like a disappointment at that moment. Having gone through a few failed attempts myself, trust me I get it. I learned that doing these few steps have been helpful to me on drop day.

1. Sign up for the Website’s newsletter. In my few failed attempts I realized that I didn’t know when collections were dropping. Being subscribed to the newsletter will get you ahead of the game because you’re emailed the day and time the drop is and what will be available a few days before it hits so you can prepare yourself. This also allows you to decide if you find an interest in what will be available and then decide if it’ll be worth the coins saving you from making an impulsive purchase.

2. Set an alarm on your phone for when the drop day is and at least 15-30 mins before the time of the drop. For example, Telfar drops are usually at 9 am so I set an alarm for 8:30, and go on the site making sure my connection is on point! Great connection is also key! and then I will set another alarm 5-10 mins before in case my eyes stray away from the site.

3. Create an account beforehand as this will save you time from having to manually input your information if you make it to the point of checkout. Make sure you are logged into your account when you go on the website at least 15-30 mins beforehand.

4. Make sure you are already on the page of the piece(s) that you’re certain you want to purchase. I do not recommend opening too many of the same page on the same device as you will find yourself getting flustered going back and forth from each page. I find that opening one page on my laptop and one on my phone has been helpful.

5. Having a form of payment saved will also be helpful to you as this will help you cruise through the checkout with a breeze. Telfar’s website uses Klarna as a form of payment which is amazing! This feature can be helpful for anyone that would prefer to pay over time and they can create a temporary card that is not their personal information card information if you’re worried about something like that. Klarna connects to Telfar’s website once the card is made(please do this step at the point of that 15-30 min recommendation) so when you get to check out you’re just sailing through because everything is in there! and please do not get flustered or frustrated when that annoying captcha screen appears and you gotta now find all the stoplights in the pictures. It’s… annoying but also looks at it as another checkpoint closer to securing your purchase.

6. See it. Say it. Sow it. It may take a few tries but you’ll get there, affirming it to yourself will only help your confidence. Go into the mindset that it is already yours. Envision it and it’ll manifest in your life. I hope you find these tips to be useful and help you secure your Telfeezy!

Tips on Securing That Bag Tik Tok!

This Article Was Originally Posted to Tumblr Nov 2021

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