Warping the boundaries of art, fashion and commercialism, New York’s champions of the Extremely Normal™ Telfar have just launched their AW14 lookbook – in the form of a commercial. Titled TCTV and soundtracked by artists Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, the film pushes Telfar’s love of twisting familiar consumerism to an uncanny, surrealistic new level. Designer Telfar Clemens himself proudly displays clothes, credit cards emblazoned with his grinning face spin, and models (some of whom you may recognise from when the brand hacked Dazed on Telfar Day) in a gleaming virtual shopping environment speak only one word: “Telfar.”
“To me, Macy's commercials are crazy – we were totally inspired by retail for AW14,” Clemens says. “We love the idea of copying these global brands rather than being the young designer who gets their ideas stolen and watered down.” This appropriation of the mainstream and mundane is a sentiment that is key to Liberian-born designer's vision. “I want to be Michael Kors, but on purpose,” he said in a head-to-head with his creative director Babak Radboy – known for his own consumerist meddlings with meta-brand Shanzhai Biennial.
In something of an unlikely pairing considering Telfar’s status as an avant-garde outsider fashion brand, the film enlisted the skills of some of New York’s biggest players in visual effects and sound design. “We basically got all these amazing commercial talents on board because they are understandably a bit bored with their day jobs,” admits Radboy. “This video let them kind of poke fun at the Old Navy commercial they had to work on at the same time.”