Liberian-American Designer Telfar Clemens To Design Liberia’s Olympic Uniforms

by Duke Magazine

Over the years, track and field athletes of the Liberian Olympic delegation have been seen sporting Nike, adidas, and other sportswear outfits, but they are having a deviation from the regular to taking up uniforms produced by Telfar Clemens, according to The New York Times.

The Liberian-American designer has alone caused a disruption in the fashion system with his guaranteed to be sold-out bags, deemed as Bushwick Birkins, and a direct-to-consumer business model that culminated him to a pandemic success story.  

Today, Clemens has designed genetically spliced unisex designs for all Liberians’ outings at the Olympics. 

Among the delegation sporting his gear is Emmanuel Matadi who has been running for Liberia since 2016 and is currently ranked 23rd in the world in the 200 and 25th in the 100.

Matadi got the idea to tap Clemens to design Liberia’s uniforms after his girlfriend raved about his bags.

“I didn’t even know if he made clothes,” said Matadi.

However, Matadi did know that Clemens was Liberian. So, he mentioned the idea to Liberia’s Olympic attaché and a former Olympic competitor, Kouty Mawenh.  Of course Mawenh thought the idea was one they should bring to life to merge Liberian talent.

“He’s an elite athlete in his space, just like we are,” he said.

Garnering recognitions and laurels, Clemens is the recipient of the National Design Award from Cooper Hewitt and the Accessories Designer of the Year Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. 

Now, with the biggest outside investment that Telfar has ever made, Clemens was immediately on board despite the fact that he has never designed performance gear. Although he had been contemplating a line of athletic clothing with his artistic director and Babak Radboy for a while.

Fortunately, the Olympic project is the perfect chance for them to make the new move.

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