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Black-owned style label Telfar just lately received a Design Museum award for making a vegan-leather, gender-neutral purchasing bag aiming to redefine the stereotypical idea of luxurious style being solely white, privileged, and aspirational.
Based again in 2005 in New York Metropolis by Liberian-American designer Telfar Clemens and his enterprise companion Babak Radbo, Telfar received the Style Design of 2020 award from London’s Design Museum for making a its stylish, unisex vegan-leather purchasing bag.
With the tagline ‘Not for you – for everybody’, Telfar has redefined the stereotypical idea of luxurious style being white and privileged. The bag is symbolic of the model’s community-led outlook and has all the time been this fashion. As an example, in September final yr, the duo launched a variety of luxurious durags, additionally referred to as a wave cap, that’s worn to speed up the event of waves or dreadlocks within the hair, which is shockingly banned by the NBA, the NFL, in malls, colleges and workplaces throughout the U.S.
Talking about what makes the bag completely different, Clemens stated, “It’s a standing bag however the standing has nothing to do with worth. That could be a new class, so far as I’m involved.”
Embossed with the TC brand, the baggage are created from 100% vegan leather-based and twill lining, packaged in a 100% cotton drawstring bag, and can be found in three sizes and 9 colors, together with black, darkish olive, white, tan, and oxblood. In response to the model, the baggage are simple to make use of due to their adaptability and have each straps and handles, making them an excellent match for formal and practical makes use of alike.
We didn’t wish to give the impression that the bag was just for a choose few. Properly, there’s some fact to that – it’s all over the place in Brooklyn. But it surely’s not the entire story. The factor we’re actually pleased with is that we promote loads of baggage in locations that don’t have a single style retailer – which might be off the radar for style and tradition: Chattanooga, Birmingham, Oakland, [Washington] DC, Baltimore. Bushwick is cool, however what is actually distinctive to our bag is these different cities
Designer Telfar Clemens, Founding father of Telfar
Clemens launched the bag throughout Telfar’s Autumn/Winter 2014 assortment, however the baggage began getting observed solely round 2017, the identical yr that Clemens received the prize of US$400,000 on the CFDA/Vogue Style Fund Awards. Investing that cash again into his assortment, he revamped the bag including extra sizing and color decisions.
In an interview with the Guardian, Clemens defined how the concept for the bag got here throughout Christmas years in the past. “Simply everybody with their paper purchasing baggage, I noticed that this can be a fully unisex silhouette. We measured a Bloomingdale’s bag to make the primary pattern. When it got here to the worth, I primarily based it on what a DJ may make in an evening; that’s what felt proper for me.”
Additionally dubbed because the ‘Bushwick Birkin’, referencing a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, Clemens talked about he didn’t wish to give the impression that the bag was just for a choose few. “Properly, there’s some fact to that – it’s all over the place in Brooklyn. But it surely’s not the entire story. The factor we’re actually pleased with is that we promote loads of baggage in locations that don’t have a single style retailer – which might be off the radar for style and tradition: Chattanooga, Birmingham, Oakland, [Washington] DC, Baltimore. Bushwick is cool, however what is actually distinctive to our bag is these different cities.”
[They] enlarge the significance of black model. Telfar Clemens believes in ‘residing your style life’ – that’s, being who you might be on a day-to-day foundation
Creator Carol Tulloch
Aside from the award, the Telfar purchasing bag has garnered love from celebrities like DJ Solange Knowles, actress Issa Rae and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Emily King, visitor curator on the Design Museum, celebrated the model’s win: “In an period the place true luxurious is having a functioning well being and social safety system, I believe their slogan – ‘Not for you, for everybody’ – rings very true.”
Creator Carol Tulloch stated, “[They] enlarge the significance of black model. Telfar Clemens believes in ‘residing your style life’ – that’s, being who you might be on a day-to-day foundation.”
The baggage are priced in response to sizes from US$140 for a mini to US$240 for a big bag and are available for purchase right here.
In response to a current report by Bangalore-based tech options firm Infinitum World, the vegan leather-based market is predicted to achieve US$89 billion by 2025 as customers develop extra aware about animal welfare and go for vegan leather-based options somewhat than conventional animal-based leather-based.
In the event you too are searching for vegan bag options in Asia, here’s a listing of cruelty-free manufacturers we love created by Asian founders.
All photos courtesy of Telfar.