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Telfar

A Black-owned fashion gate-crasher that’s empowering Black and marginalized creativity.

29
/40
Community:

Values

Black + LGBTQIA + Non-binary

Founded by Telfar Clemens, Telfar is a genderless and democratic fashion brand that's upending industry norms, giving visibility and boosting the buying power of marginalized communities. The result is epic customer loyalty.

Identity

10
/10

Built on an inclusive business model, Telfar is rewriting the rules of luxury fashion by making it accessible for all. Dubbed the "Bushwick Birkin," Telfar’s Shopping Bag has become THE symbol of group identity for young, creative New Yorkers, especially empowering for queer and Black communities. Inspired by his own African roots and racial reckoning, Telfar Clemens co-designed a line of unisex uniforms for Team Liberia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Telfar joins the Liberian team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Opening Ceremony. (source: NYTimes)

Social Capital

6
/10

The brand created the Bag Security Program to combat bots and resellers, which lets anyone pre-order a bag during 24-hour periods, turning customers into “investors.” During Fall NYFW 2021, Telfar launched its first TV channel, which will allow loyalists to shop the latest product drips rather than dropping merchandise through e-commerce. The public access channel will also be a hub for new talents sourced directly from the community.

Oneness

7
/10

Let the logo do the talking. The brand’s iconic logo has been the main driver of its popularity, leading to word-of-mouth marketing and strengthening the members’ sense of belonging. Telfar has never done any marketing for the bag, relying solely on social posts and reposts, and they celebrate overexposure as a badge of honour.

Mobilization

6
/10

With a cult following, Telfar doesn't need to incite mobilization because their community does it for them. An uproar on social media erupted when Guess began selling a replica of the Telfar shopping bag. A day later, the copycat brand withdrew its product from sale and issued a public apology.

By the numbers

1 day

of Bag Security Program sales in 2020 = 10X all bag sales in 2019

See the other top brands of 2021

2021
#
5
Telfar
A Black-owned fashion gate-crasher that’s empowering Black and marginalized creativity.
29
/
40
2021
#
5
Telfar
A Black-owned fashion gate-crasher that’s empowering Black and marginalized creativity.
29
/
40
2021
#
5
Telfar
29
/
40
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