Is Telfar Black Owned?

Telfar, the clothing line popular for its genderless designs and casual approach to fashion is now under question. The New York-based label has been accused of cultural appropriation by critics who claim the brand’s designs are based on African tradition.

Although Telfar denies these claims, it is evident that they have taken inspiration from cultures all over Africa. Whether or not this is a form of cultural appropriation remains debatable but one thing is certain: their use of African prints without any reference to their original meaning can be seen as disrespectful.

But is Telfar Black Owned? Telfar is a New York-based fashion label founded by Telfar Clemens in 2005. The brand has been acclaimed for its progressive design concepts and its mission to provide affordable luxury for all, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Telfar is black owned and operated, with Clemens at the helm.

The first collection of the brand was launched for spring/summer 2016, during new york fashion week which took place from september the sixth to october the tenth of 2015.

Telfar has been acclaimed as “the most disruptive brand in fashion” (Marie Claire) and “the most anticipated New York Fashion Label of 2016” (Business of Fashion).

The Telfar company is already sold in Italian department stores, including sei esposizioni in Rome and Ikea’s flagship store in Milan which is the largest of the Italian luxury chains.

If you’re a fan of Telfar and want to support black-owned fashion brands, our article is a must-read.

Company Ownership

Telfar is a new brand on the fashion scene. Its founder, Telfar Clemens, won the prestigious Woolmark award in 2013 and has been worn by celebrities such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.. The New York-based designer uses innovative technologies for his lines of clothing that are meant to be comfortable and versatile while also taking into account the environment and society at large.

His recent collection takes a critical look at consumerism and marketing techniques that companies use to influence consumers’ tastes. In order to debunk many clothing rules, Telfar’s show featured models who were all wearing the same outfit: an oversized black t-shirt with a big white skull covering their heads.


The company is known for their progressive design concepts, such as genderless clothing and asymmetrical silhouettes. Telfar’s success can be attributed to its appearance on social media outlets like Instagram, Facebook , and Twitter.

Telfar is sold at luxury retailers like Nordstrom , Neiman Marcus , Barney’s New York , Saks Fifth Avenue , and Bergdorf Goodman . Their garments are also frequently featured on fashion bloggers and style influencers such as Leandra Medine , Katy Schampel, and Alexandra Lind Rose. In addition to the brand’s high-end retail locations, they also have a few more affordable options like their Telfar Black collection sold at Urban Outfitters .

If you’re passionate about supporting black-owned beauty brands, our article on Carol’s Daughter is a great resource.


Telfar, founded in 2005 by Telfar Clemens while at Pace University, is an avant-garde luxury fashion brand known for it’s groundbreaking design, irreverent social media presence and diverse casting choices. The New York City-based label creates menswear, womenswear and accessories pieces.

After designing and manufacturing the label’s first collection outside of his dorm room, he graduated and devoted himself completely to the young brand —a decision that quickly paid off.

Clemens’ mission for Telfar is to provide affordable luxury and redefine the idea of what luxury clothing can be for his generation. In a society where style is dictated by retailers and department stores, Clemens saw an opportunity to work outside of these traditional channels. He designs clothes that fit “real” people on the street who want to look good in their own unique way. 


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! He doesn’t discriminate by gender or sexual orientation, which allows anyone to feel comfortable wearing his clothes. Telfar continues to create his own inclusive fashion world. He does not discriminate by gender or sexual orientation allowing anyone to feel comfortable wearing his clothes, which explains why it is so popular. Telfar is expanding its business with online sales on sites like Farfetch and will continue to make efforts towards inclusivity.