Last year was what The New York Times dubbed “The Year of Telfar.” This is primarily due to the coveted Telfar shopping bag that became highly exclusive and hard to come by.
It was one of the hottest bags last year and is just as popular in 2021. In fact, the bag is so popular that it’s been consistently sold out!
Why Are Telfar Shopping Bags So Popular?
Well, a lot of its popularity has to do with the designer behind the bag. Telfar is run by designer Telfar Clemens, a queer Liberian-American designer who has been advocating for inclusivity for years!
Inclusivity is the underlying value of his brand – a brand ‘for everyone’ with only unisex pieces.
For years the designer dealt with disenfranchisement in the fashion world because of his sexuality, background, and values, and now those who once gatekept the industry are inviting him in. Telfar continues to create his own inclusive fashion world. Once rejected by fashion, the brand is now at the center.
Last year, Oprah appointed the Telfar vegan leather shopping bag as a “favorite thing,” In the past two years, more and more celebrities have been seen wearing the bag.
Telfar Clemens and his creative partner first created the popular bags in 2014. They feature an embossed logo of a T inside a C, a form of his initials created by one of Telfar’s childhood teachers.
They come in three sizes, small, medium, and large. These shopping bags are affectionately called “the Bushwick Birkin.” A name that comes from their Bushwick headquarters and the Birkin-looking square shape.
It’s a name that caught-on before the Telfar bags acquired the same exclusive status as a Birkin.
Telfar shopping bags are made from vegan leather with a large logo on the side. The design was inspired by Bloomingdale’s shopping bags, although more commonly compared to Hermes.
The bags are made in China, and Telfar has openly spoken about the quality of work and flexibility when working with the manufacturer. Telfar’s financial model is unique.
They self-financed production, 100% on their own, and typically plan for production six months in advance. This is what has caused the shortage; it’s not a pre-meditated strategy to make the brand more exclusive and boost demand.
After consistently selling out in August 2020, the brand launched the “bag security program.” This program aimed to give more people the opportunity to buy one of the bags that kept selling out.
On August 19th, people could add their names to a pre-sale waitlist. There are also continuous bag drops where up to 7000 bags become available, which still sell out within minutes!