The Inclusive It Bag: Why People Are Eager to Get Their Hands on the Telfar ‘Shopping Bag’

The Inclusive It Bag: Why People Are Eager to Get Their Hands on the Telfar ‘Shopping Bag’

Jack Huot

Designer fashion has evolved and somehow devolved through the years, taking on different values abstractly or quite literally. The Telfar bag allows for the average day Joe[lene] to pick from a variety of bags valued at half the price of a Gucci Bag. 

The journey began when Clemence Telfar, a teenager in the early 2000s moved to New York’s Manhattan Island to pursue the dream of making it big in the fashion industry. Telfar himself was looking for a designer that didn’t revolve so much around fast fashion, rather a designer willing to revolve around the quality and accessibility to each bag. With no luck of finding someone that accommodating, Telfar decided to be his own designer; by 2005, he was able to launch his label titled…you guessed it… TELFAR. His main objective was that everyone would be able to get their hands on the bag regardless of one’s status on the social ladder.

In the New York City borough of Brooklyn, the bag flourishes in sales, street corner to street corner. Emilia Cardenia, a writer from La Tonique says that the popular bag “was dubbed the “Brooklyn Birkin” for how popular it is…” Cardenia continues, saying how Clemence Telfar always stood for equality and how “the brand [is] for the people”. Telfar himself “ stays true to this in the sale of the bag. He wanted to make a quality bag that made luxury accessible to normal people”

The Telar brand began to dominate the pop culture scene; celebrities and influencers alike gathered to worship this bag customizable to their likings. With over 75 colorful bags on the website, people can select which one that matches them and make it tell their story. The variety of the bags themselves reflects the brands’ purpose of being accepting and diverse. Telfar himself didn’t see himself going too far in fashion, not because of the designs he created, but the fact that he was a black man in America. Carlos Nazario, i-D magazine’s fashion director and Puerto Rican-American stylist who also grew up with Telfar says that his group of friends “belonged to a specific crowd of black and brown people who didn’t see ourselves yet in fashion.” Without Telfar taking the step he did and pushing himself as a designer, the brand wouldn’t have grown to the lengths it has in the past years. The story of Telfar rains on, creating inspiration for people that were stuck in the same spot Clemence Telfar was in himself. 

Telfar explained in an interview with the Gay Times that he was “always attracted to the conceptual advantages that womenswear had over menswear, but growing up I wasn’t allowed by my parents to wear or buy womenswear.” The boundary pushed him even further so he started making clothing himself. Telfar continued saying “I wanted to make a line that was genderless and spoke to people like me.”

“People like me,” Telfar wants people to understand that he himself is openly queer and understands the many adversities that the LGBTQIA+ community faces. Telfar wants a bag that is made by someone that has gotten the short end of the stick before. He doesn’t want it made by a fashion giant that merely cares about the profit being made from the community itself. 

The brand offers a new phase of fashion that is open to everyone and their mothers. It is safe to say that the brand fits its motto, “Not For You – For Everyone”