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Telfar bags
Backstage at Telfar SS20 Photography Serichai Traipoom

Telfar just won a major fashion award for its bags

The brand scooped Accessories Designer of the Year at the CFDAs

Long live the Telfar bag! The iconic logo totes today helped earn designer Telfar Clemens a CFDA Award – for Accessories Designer of the Year. Though the bags – which come in three sizes and an array of sell-out colours – are not new, they are dizzyingly popular. They’re so popular, that the brand even launched a ‘bag security program’.

Clemens was up for the same award last year, but missed out – losing to The Row. As we pointed out back then, the brands pretty much couldn’t be more different. Rather than eye-wateringly expensive, Telfar’s bags are a luxury market disruptor – a new kind of status symbol. 

 “The fact is – a few years ago there was no genderless, accessibly priced, black-owned bag, period – and also there was no one to wear it,” Clemens and his creative director Babak Radboy told us last summer. “The bag and the customer are meeting in real-time – and that customer was not a person you really saw pictures of a few years ago in fashion. That customer is actually us – if you look at how people post pictures with the bag and we repost them – it’s cute but it’s also a live struggle for visibility – and we are in it together. I think that’s the power of the bag.”

Other award winners included Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond for menswear, and Christopher John Rogers for Emerging Designer of the Year. Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli and Dior’s Kim Jones won for women’s and men’s International Designer, respectively. The awards themselves were sponsored this year by Klarna – the part-payment service with millennial pink branding that’s been called “the cool lender getting Gen Z hooked on debt”. Great stuff! 

Sponsorship aside, congrats to Telfar – and head here to read our feature on why the Telfar bag is the most important accessory of the last decade.