Telfar Win The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund For 2017
Congratulations are clearly in order for the wonderful Telfar Clemens, whose semi-eponymous brand, Telfar, took home the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in New York last night. Winning the large monetary prize of $400,000 and the priceless opportunity to exchange a handshake with Anna-bloody-Wintour, the designer was chosen by a star-studded panel after months of studio visits, challenges, shows and collaborations, beating out Chromat and Ahlem for the big prize, the runners-up taking home $150,000 each.
Clemens is a native of Queens, New York, where he still lives in the apartment he grew up in – his brand, founded in 2005, has challenged the boundaries of gender, race and class before just about everybody else followed his lead. Telfar creates unisex clothes that begin with the tropes of American casual wear – hoodies, jersey tops, denim – before transforming them into something else entirely: t-shirts are sliced away to reveal patches of skin, seam are left raw and the Telfar logo is imprinted across his collections like 90s sportswear.
Most recently, Clemens created a capsule collection with fast-food chain White Castle, playing on their iconic logo and uniform – a uniform that ended up being worn across the restaurant’s empire of over 12,000 employees, while the accompanying Telfar x White Castle merchandise was sold with 100% of proceeds going to bail out minors from Rikers Island jail. It is, as Clemens himself describes, clothing that’s “horizontal, democratic, universal” – and we can’t wait to see what’s next.
Photograph courtesy of Vogue