“Not for you – for everyone” is Telfar’s tagline. It alludes to the efforts of the black-owned New York brand to create and maintain an “it bag” without any pesky exclusivity. On Sunday afternoon, Telfar adopted the lofty but democratic slogan — which was shouted over loudspeakers to thousands of ecstatic shoppers roaring outside the Rainbow store.
The CFDA winner takes over the Brooklyn outpost of this downtown clothing chain, usually available for $20 to rayon-blend jeans and launched its first brick-and-mortar store. Two days before the event, the customer received a reminder on Instagram. Over 3,150 units of “Bushwick Birkin” ranging from $150-$257, depending on the size, at hand. More people stood in the rain in a line that snaked around three blocks.
The scene around 3pm feels like a mix of on-location movie shoots and game shows and Black Friday department store sales. Multiple NYPD officers lingered outside, keeping an eye on things. A director operated a sky-high camera to film all the action for TelfarTV, the brand’s 24 hour-long radio channel and IG Live. The masked dancers wore pastel-hued bags, hats, and soon-to-be-launched boots in fashion and death. TelfarTV hosts host events with exaggerated rudeness and enthusiasm, similar to Billy Porter’s pose in a ballroom play (“We Low On medium chocolate and black bags,” someone shouted later that afternoon. “Don’t say I didn’t tell you!”) Then the doors opened, one ahead of schedule due to the swelled crowd Hour. A beautiful mess ensues.
At the front of the line, Zoey, a recent college grad and aspiring fashionista Designer, standing with her mother. “I don’t have Telfar personally, a lot of my friends over the last few years have,” she said amid the music and the raucous crowd. “And I was just trying to get it online. I was like, Okay, this is a great opportunity . I don’t have a job today. So I just Pushed away all my responsibilities.” She waited four hours to buy herself a medium painter’s blue bag and a medium azalea bag for her neighbor.