Telfar Spring Summer 2020 Paris Runway Show

Telfar Spring Summer 2020 Paris Runway Show

Represented by Gia Kuan.

As you might have heard, TELFAR is a black-owned, non-gendered fashion project established in 2004 in NYC. That was a long time before such a thing was possible…We would like to keep it that way — to appear always just over a horizon.

Our shows are the result of a radical form of collaboration that we hope borders on conspiracy – in search of the collective form; the human form: of music, of theatre and of style.

Telfar Spring Summer 2020 Paris Runway Show

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Photos: Mitchell Sams

For Spring Summer 2020 we bring the practice to the screen – through the commissioning of a collective film.

Previews as a trailer for PFW The World Isn’t Everything is an exquisite corpse drawn and drawing together artist Petra Collins, break-out American playwright Jeremy O. Harris, enigma Dean Blunt, post-pop-star Steve Lacy, and rappers Butch Dawson and Bby-mutha, Moonlight star Ashton Sanders and Diamond Singily among very many others…

The film mirrors a runway presentation and is accompanied by a live score by the Afro-Parisian DJ/Genius CRYSTALLMESS and the London based sonic artist Klein.

The aim of this show is the same as that of the brand. In an era of representation we insist on presence. In the era of inclusivity we cannot be content to be included in someone else’s world. Our project is to build a world of our own and the process and the result are indistinguishable. Our customers are our collaborators and our cousins are our customers.


Spring/Summer 2020 takes its inspiration from the customs/security lines at any airport at given time, anywhere in the world. It marks our third collaboration with the all American beer brand Budweiser, whose iconic emblems appear throughout in jersey, silk and twill.

We begin with our militant cargo section — in slate, drab and khaki — bisected by signature TELFAR panel- ling. What could be the legs of a pair of cargo shorts replace the arms of a simple T shirt — adding utility to ubiq- uity. Sideless slacks and shirts and a full military poncho with a hidden hood finish a utilitarian statement torn between tourism and survival.

Our denim is paneled and modular: with T-shirt flares, graphic cut-outs or full legs replaced with fish-net and leather, or dappled with fluffy clouds of bleach.

A knit section starts with a trio of smart mod-zipped polos to return as breezy Afro-Jamaican string-vests: in T’s, hoodies and our classic asymmet- rical tank cut from crop to tunic.

A sporty tricot section in red, black and khaki is branded with an anachro-sporty iteration of the Telfar logo — for an iconic track-and-field statement whose fully constructed stripes betray complex tailoring, hidden pockets and zippered ventilation along their lengths. A pair of 70’s running shorts appear, then reappear as a poly-athletic version of our classic thigh-hole jean. Track pants, merge into denim at hip with a kind of queer inevitability as the trunks of track jackets are replaced with cotton netting, or T shirts, recycled from elsewhere in the collection.

As is our custom, our T shirts feature looks from our previous collection. FW 2019 “COUNTRY” poses as promotional stills from an unfinished black spy thriller. Some are cut at the back, or missing a sleeve; wrap at the sides or gather at the waist with a drawstring. The appliqué language of American Varsity is repurposed for a dimensional camouflage, constructed from amoebas of khaki and bone jersey, or in cut-out varsity letters backed with fishnet to skin.

“T shirt” with fragments of print, embroidery and appliqué invades the collection as both idiom and material. A duet of buttonless split collared shirts appear to be constructed out of scraps of vintage surf-T’s. They spill from the southern border, as the bottom of a jean as a flares; or as a boxer shorts — unseat a Chino mid-hip. The body of our polos is likewise replaced, leaving nothing knit but a collar and pocket stranded in a graphic sea. Poplin is evicted as the primary material for our collared shirts and wraps featuring vintage Budweiser beer graphics printed inside out. Even a pair of two-piece suits, over-dyed in navy and ox-blood, are revealed by their faint graphics and raw slashed seams to be composed of nothing but jersey T shirts.


Clothes By: Telfar Clemens
Creative Director: Babak Radboy
Produced By: Harbinger Creative
Directed By: Clayton Vomero
Written By: Jeremy O. Harris
Music: Crystallmess
Vocals: Klein
Performance: Lancey Foux


Dean Blunt, Petra Collins, Steve Lacy, Bbymutha, Total Freedom, Arca, Ashton Sanders, Oyinda, Kelsey Lu, Juliana Huxtable, Butch Dawson, Diamond Stingiley, Don Hearn, Leo Fitzpatrick, Ian Isiah, Xavier Cha, Mason Malcolm Radboy, Michael Magnan


Stanley Gambucci, Adrian Lee, Andy diego, Michael Magnan, BUFFA7O, Molly McIver, Nicholas Wolf, Evan Luis, Jabari F, Jay Perez, Jeff, Taylor Wells, Antwone Jackson, Crans- ton Mills, Hakeem, Johan GALAXY, Madani, Mahi, Malachai, Meciah Washington, Michael Martin, Munzir, Nanga, AHEEM Soasa, Stephen, Zarif, ALANIE, Maxima, Adam King, Diego


Clara Cornet, Sophie Secaf, Marcelo Al- caide, Molly McIver, Dis Magazine, Torso, Dawson & Wells Stellberger, Lyndsy Welgos, Khalil Joseph, Tyler Mariano, Kate Hawkins, Carr Chadwick, Nikos Dimitros, Greg Miller, Petra Collins, Ibrahim Tarouhit, Le Rouge Pigalle, Guillaume Le Donche, Ricardo Marques, Danny Bowien, Barnett Zitron, System Magazine and Our Patron Saint Jamie Richardson.
Styling: Avena Gallagher
Casting: Midland
Hair: Shingo Shibata
Makeup: Kanako Takase
Av Exec Producer: Tal Rosner
Technical Manager: Nick Joyce
Local Production: Twotwenty
Lighting Design: Vincent Mongourdin


Directed By: Clayton Vomero
Written By: Jeremy O Harris


Akinola Davies, Bbymutha, Butch Dawson (dir. Aus Taylor), Ambjaay Ajradico (dir. Courtney Yates), Bakarrr (ade Udoma), Babak Radboy
Produced By: Somesuch Executive Producer: Tash Tan
Telfar Production: Ashley Lee Greg Miller
Producer: Mccray Sutherlin
Post Producers: Natalie Vrandich & Tarquin Glass
Ny Production: Muddy Water
Line Producer: Jeffrey Schroeder
Dop: Sean Prince Williams
Soundscape: James William Blades
Art Department: And/or Forever
Production Manager: Adam Thayer Prod.
Coordinator: Parker Vaughn 1st Ad: Lionel Cineas
2nd Ad: Sonny
2nd Camera Operator: Mason Cash
1st Ac: Richard Martin
2nd Ac: Hallie Aries
Gaffer: Ariel Neharayoff
Gaffer: Jesse Sperling
Best Boy Electric: John Obrien
Swing: Alex Felder
Swing: John James Kump
Swing: Fidel Onyia
Key Grip: Che Roacher
Key Grip: Justin Wilson
Best Boy Grip: Ross Faccio
Location Scout: Philprince
Lifeguard: Indiana
Editor: Toby Heard
Second Editor: Louis Bork
Sound Mix: Guy Chase
Grade: Jack Mcginity
Online: Cheat Post
Production Assistants: Austin Price, Emmanuel Isaacov, Andy Martinez, Mekela Rajagopal, Bella Baroni, David Barrera, Jacob Folayan, Thea Sutherland, Eloy Correia, Chili Dia, Mike Alliegro, Kavel Lewis, Derek Willis, Callum Stembridge, Antoi- Nette, Russ Chave, Joe Degrand
Guests included Paloma Elsesser, Jeremy O. Harris, Kelela, Nina Chanel Abney, Mickalene Thomas, Lucien Smith, Casey Spooner, Clara Cornet, Louise Chen, Precious Okoyomon, Parker Kit Hill, Akinola Davis and more.


TELFAR partnered with Beats By Dre on all earpieces in the film tied into the theme of migration, and music as a form of transport. In the film, Jeremy O. Harris wrote most of the dialogue and he fed Ashton Sanders the lines through a Beats earpiece; when you see Sanders speaking in the film he’s hearing and then speaking those words for the first time.


For the first time in their respective histories, Telfar and Converse have presented their inaugural footwear and apparel capsule collection. Much like how Converse have been adopted across various subcultures through decades, Telfar reinterprets heritage silhouettes to connect to his communities. Inspired by the designs seen in a trip to the Converse archive, Telfar crafted a collection that reinterprets Converse’s basketball heritage and taps iconic silhouettes, like the Pro Leather, ERX, and Chuck 70, as his canvases. First introduced as a basketball sneaker in 1976, the Pro Leather – which recently rejoined Converse’s lineup – receives a disruptive interpretation – one that hacks the Pro Leather and Fastbreak for a new slip-on silhouette. Similarly, the ERX – a sneaker that epitomized the over-the-top basketball style of the late 1980s – is reworked into a sandal for the first time.

The Chuck 70 is also seen on the runway in an execution that aims to transform its iconic canvas into a t-shirt, along with expressive graphics that riff off the collection’s apparel. The apparel silhouettes are also a product of Converse heritage designs – which often featured iconic athletes of the time – but now, Telfar casts figures in his world for contemporary graphic and textured iterations of jersey sets, track suits and tees.


Become a queer, Liberian-American eighteen year old, travel back to 2004 and establish a 100% unisex fashion line in New York City. Try to make clothes that do not exist on the market — just as you don’t exist in the world. Try to make pure garments without the ornament of gender, race, class; high and low; male or female. Don’t have any money. Find your inspiration from not just the best clothes but the most clothes: the material reality of clothes, as a flow of communication, as a form of pollution; be as inspired by Old Navy as Helmut Lang. Persist for a decade despite being ignored. If the road is closed to you — cut a new one. If you can’t get into stores, get into museums. Design the uniforms for 10,000 employees of White Castle. Win the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. Keep your family close, ignore the bullsh*t. Good luck — lots of love.


Learn More


With love,


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