Telfar Debuted Converse Mary Janes On The Runway

Telfar, the “Black-owned, non-gendered fashion project” established in 2004 in New York, has been putting on experiential shows since designer Telfar Clemens launched the brand at 20. Since then, Clemens has proven himself to be someone who can straddle art, fashion, and business with grace and apparent ease. This September, Clemens skipped New York Fashion Week, opting instead to show in Paris. In NYC, he hosted a screening to preview his upcoming Paris runway show as well as a party to celebrate Jeremy O’Harris’ Slave Play.

Debuting in Paris on Monday, Telfar’s spring 2020 collection takes its inspiration from the customs and security lines at any airport at any given time, anywhere in the world. There were cargo pants paired with T-shirts with oversize pockets as well as hoodies, basketball shorts, and track pants with trouser-like silhouettes. If only waiting in line at the airport looked this good…

The label also collaborated with Budwiser for a third time: the beverage’s symbol appears throughout the collection. And for the first time ever, Telfar and Converse teamed up for a footwear and apparel capsule collection. “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,” a press release says. But leave it to Telfar to rework the over-the-top basketball sneaker into a shoe. The shoe looked like an updated version of a Mary Jane with a low flat form-like heel and a strap around the ankle.

“That was a long time before such a thing was possible,” the brand’s release reads, referencing its own uniqueness. “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.”

This is a narrative we would very much like to continue to be included in.

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