- Eden Wong
Black Owned Business Spotlight: Telfar
This week I’m highlighting another, more popular black-owned business!
Watch out Gucci, Telfar is the new up-and-coming designer bag that is both cute and affordable! As Oprah listed Telfar bags on her 2020 list of favorite things, Telfar bags have definitely earned their “luxury” tag. If Oprah’s not enough for you, celebrities like Solange, Bella Hadid, A$AP Ferg and many more have been photographed out and about with their Telfar bags. Although considered “luxury,” compared to other designer brands, such as Gucci or Louis Vuitton, Telfar bags are considerably more affordable. Their three different bags range from $150 to $257. In addition to their most renowned bags, Telfar sells a variety of apparel, accessories, shoes and jewelry!
At just 35 years old, gay, Liberian-American designer Telfar Clemson, who grew up in Queens, New York, gives Telfar its inclusive message, “It’s not for you; it’s for everyone.” His message separates Telfar from other designer brands that historically cater to more affluent, typically white customers. According to the “Business of Fashion”, Telfar Clemson founded Telfar in 2005 when his customers most commonly resided in predominantly black neighborhoods. Telfar grappled with finding business in the beginning, but eventually Telfar achieved its first feature in “Vogue” in 2015. From there, Telfar’s customer radius grew wider, and throughout its growth, it remained true to its all-inclusive message. In the following years, Telfar gained collaborations with brands such as Gap, Budwiser, White Castle, Ugg and Converse. In 2019 and 2020, Telfar gained a lot more popularity around the election season when the call for companies to speak out against social injustices was at its peak. When more and more companies expressed their new ideas for change, Telfar already was the change with its all inclusive message. So, if you’re looking for a new bag for the summer, Telfar definitely is the way to go! As Telfar’s creative director Babak Radboy says, “We don't have to express the idea of change because we represent the idea of change.”