‘Telfar’ is the buzzword on every fashion person’s lips, and its tote bag - dubbed the ‘Bushwick Birkin’ - is the bag du jour in both fashion and music circles, with fans including Dua Lipa and Dev Hynes to Solange. The cult New York label is accessible in price and inclusive: A high-end Gap, if you will. Which is just as well, because last night the two super brands announced they'd be collaborating this year.
The news was revealed in Paris at Men’s Fashion Week AW20, where the two brands transformed the Gap store on Rue Tronchet into an after-hours club for a party to celebrate. “If you look at the first two seasons Telfar and I did together, it is Gap..." said Telfar’s artistic director Babak Radboy, in an interview with Vogue. "The Gap customer was supposed to be everybody, literally every body.” It’s not yet been revealed what the collection will consist of, but Radboy did speak of hybridising basics, putting together “three pieces into one garment, so it’s like a hoodie, a sweater, and some leather pants,” he told the magazine.
Every era has an It bag: from Hermes’ Birkin (1980s) to the Fendi Baguette (early 00s). Undeniably, 2019 was the year of the Telfar tote bag. Where it differs from, say, Jacquemus’ Chiquito - or any of the aforementioned arm candy above - is its price point. Coming in three sizes, it retails from $150 - $257, a much more achievable cost than those that fetch well into the thousands. It’s also made with vegan leather and has a gender-neutral boxy silhouette. Because of this inclusivity aspect, it has garnered a loyal cult following, especially with young people of colour and those in the LGBTQ+ community in New York.
Telfar’s It bag is, therefore, so much more than a bag (insert M&S voiceover), it’s a symbol of democracy. And choosing to collaborate with Gap, instead of a celebrity or hyped streetwear label of the moment, harnesses this message even further.