Nuevo Culture

Thanks to Telfar, This West African Olympic Team Will Have the Coolest Uniforms

The Olympics are not known as a fashion affair—obviously—but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some good sartorial moments here and there. Ralph Lauren routinely designs for Team USA, Stella McCartney created Great Britain’s in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and Issey Miyake designed Lithuania’s in 1992. Today, a new designer joined that pantheon. Telfar Clemens announced in the New York Times that he would be sponsoring and designing the uniforms for Team Liberia.

Clemens’s name will be familiar to anyone with a passing knowledge of It bags. He’s emerged as one of America’s most exciting designers thanks to his signature vegan leather tote bag with his logo on the front. Dubbed “the Bushwick Birkin,” it is extremely hard to get a hold of, despite Clemens’s best efforts to democratize the product.

Emmanuel Matadi

Jason Nocito

But back to the uniforms. The five track-and-field athletes representing the country will be outfitted by Clemens, who is Liberian American. One of the runners, Emmanuel Matadi, had the idea to contact Clemens after reportedly hearing about the bags from his girlfriend. Clemens was on board despite the cost associated with sponsoring a team and the fact that he hadn’t designed athleticwear before. Undaunted by the challenge, Clemens created 70 pieces for the team, including sweats, unitards, duffel bags, and track spikes. The Liberian flag is featured throughout, along with Telfar’s logo.

Clemens will also be dropping pieces, “inspired by the Olympics,” according to the New York Times, which anyone can buy. He’ll also be introducing athleticwear to his core collection for good. “These are clothes we want to sell for the rest of our lives,” he said. As for what the full collection will look like? You’ll just have to watch Team Liberia to find out.