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Telfar Fashion Week Pop-up
Photography Yu Fujiwara

Telfar Clemens wants you to decide how much his clothes cost

The brands’s new pricing model will give shoppers the power to determine how expensive its items are

Telfar Clemens broke new ground this morning when he announced that Telfar would be restructuring its pricing model. Sounds a little A Level economics but it’s quite radical – when shoppers log onto the brand’s website for its next drop on March 27, costs will no longer be predetermined or arbitrarily fixed. Instead, a new dynamic pricing tool will ensure that the most popular and fastest-selling products are the most affordable. The higher the demand, the cheaper the item of clothing. It means that customers will effectively decide how much the collection costs, compounding the label’s “it’s not for you, it’s for everyone” mantra. 

“Many brands use price as a barrier to entry,” the designer told Fast Company. “I never wanted that for my brand.” The idea was born from a discussion between Clemens and creative director Babak Radboy last year when they were plotting price points for a hoodie and realised that they could charge shoppers anywhere from $100 to $600. “The more we thought about it, the more it became clear that the pricing model in fashion doesn’t make any sense,” Radboy said. If they could gauge demand for certain products ahead of time, the brand would be able to place larger orders with their factories and negotiate cheaper prices. “If we charge $600 for the hoodie, then only one class of person would buy it – the person who can afford it,” Radboy added.

When their brand’s next collection launches,  all items will start at wholesale price and then increase over time. The final price at which the item sells will subsequently decide the set cost for all future Telfar collections. This new strategy completely upends the standard fashion blueprint, where labels will charge the highest possible price for their most popular items. But Telfar is all about shaking the industry into new shapes, where luxury is no longer shorthand for exclusivity. “I want people who want my clothes – and will look cool in them – to be able to get them,” the designer said. He’s done it before with his bag security program (a 24-hour sale where shoppers can pre-order bags to be made and shipped out months later) and he’s done it again with this new model, further whittling at fashion’s barriers to entry.