by Stephen Garner

New York-based unisex brand Telfar has been announced as the Special Project of Pitti Immagine Uomo 97, taking place in Florence from January 7th to 10th.

“We are honored to be invited to show at Pitti Uomo,” said Telfar Clemens, founder of Telfar, “where the deep sense of history and continuity sets the scene perfectly for something entirely new.”

Clemens was born in Queens, New York, to Liberian parents. He spent part of his childhood in Liberia and later moved back with his family to the United States. In 2002 he then moved to New York to pursue a career in modeling. In 2003 he began to create his own collection of deconstructed and reconstructed vintage clothes which he sold in the Lower East Side and SoHo boutiques in New York City.

In 2005 he launched his own fashion label entitled ‘Telfar’ which now claims retailers like Opening Ceremony and Dover Street Market. In 2017, Telfar won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award. He was part of the Berlin Biennale and of collaborations with brands such as Converse and the White Castle fast-food chain, for which he has created new unisex uniforms. Telfar’s collection incorporates unisex designs with the principles of comfortable sportswear and ‘simplexity’ in partnership with Slam Jam.

“Telfar Clemens is one of the most interesting figures on the contemporary scene,” added Lapo Cianchi, director of communication and special events at Pitti Immagine. “For fifteen years, he has been promoting with tenacity an idea of inclusive and accessible fashion and business, with a project in which there is an unexpected blending of aesthetics, art, gender identity, and functionality. We are happy to offer him the opportunity to present himself to the Pitti Uomo community, and I am sure that the event in Florence will provide further meaning to a message that is already strong and vibrant.”