Telfar Goes Commercial—Sort Of!


Photo by Asger Carlsen.

“Telfar! Telfar! Telfar!” That seems to be the cri de guerre this fall for all those combatting general fashion fatigue with the clever unisex clothes by 28-year-old Telfar Clemens. The Liberian-born, Queens-raised designer defines the style of his eponymous line TELFAR, which consists of often slightly twisted but never cynical reinterpretations of mass-market “basics,” as Extremely Normal™. This season, Clemens took the Extremely Normal concept to another level by enlisting creative director Babak Radboy, MOCAtv, and some of the commercial imaging industry’s top talent to produce TCTV, a three-minute-long promotional video worthy of a global mega-brand.

Rendered almost entirely in 3D, the video features a futuristic set with oversize Telfar logos, populated by a gaggle of male (and one female) models cavorting on Verner Panton lounge chairs, excitedly shouting the designer’s name while showcasing, say, a “four-pocket reversible crewneck jumper,” or “drop-shoulder split dress shirt.” Together with the millions of dollars worth of post-production combined and the Ca-Ching!-enhanced soundtrack by the artists Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, TCTV is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre, very commercial and perfectly avant-garde. But most importantly to the designer himself, it is unlike anything that’s out there. Watch the video here:

The TELFAR pop-up at Opening Ceremony carries on through August 28th.