- TitleFounder and designer
Telfar Clemens founded his namesake fashion label Telfar in 2005 while still a student at Pace University. Born in Queens, N.Y., the son of Liberian immigrants, his non-gendered designs captured the interest of fast-food chain White Castle, which commissioned Clemens to design uniforms and a capsule collection—proceeds of which went toward a bail fund for youths imprisoned at Rikers Island. Telfar was set to have a massive 2020 with a much-hyped partnership with Gap, originally due to drop by the end of the year. But the pandemic pushed the date to 2021, and Telfar decided not to pursue the project after a dispute about payment for work done. But the brand’s stature has only grown as a result. Clemens’s most famous creation, the Shopping Bag (also known as “the Bushwick Birkin”) is one of fashion’s most in-demand items, with each tote selling out within minutes of appearing online.