After decamping to Paris for spring 2020, with a show that kicked off the city’s fashion week, Liberian-American designer Telfar Clemens will parade his latest effort in the Italian city with a special event. Further details, including date and location, were not available at press time.
“Telfar Clemens is one of the most interesting designers of the contemporary scene,” said Lapo Cianchi, the trade show organizer Pitti Immagine’s director of communications and special events. “For 15 years he has promoted with tenacity an inclusive and accessible fashion and business concept, with a project fusing aesthetics, arts, gender identity and functionality in an unexpected way…I’m sure the Florentine event will add further meaning to a strong and engaging message.”
Telfar launched in 2005, although Clemens had been producing non-gendered clothing since 2002. He’s been an enthusiastic collaborator with unexpected partners — designing a capsule collection for White Castle in 2017 after hosting his runway show afterparty at the fast food chain’s Times Square location in 2015, holding a dramatic show on a Blade-branded helipad on New York’s East River for spring 2019 — and for fall 2019, presenting a powerful spectacle scripted by playwright Jeremy O. Harris.
In an interview with WWD ahead of his Paris show, Clemens anticipated his plans to keep his runway show on the road. “We’re Telfar Global and taking the collection on a tour,” he said at the time. “Nothing belongs to one person; every city is getting a piece of the tour.” Starting with the fall 2020 season to be presented in Florence, manufacturing will also be moved to Italy.
Clemens won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2015, and in 2019 was a CFDA Award nominee for Accessory Designer of the Year for his affordably-priced tote bags, which have become an anti-status status symbol among the community he has rallied around his brand, both online and through events.
Earlier this month, Pitti Uomo also announced Jil Sander as the special guest next January for the 97th edition of the international men’s wear gathering.
Over the past year, Pitti Uomo has significantly stepped up its game, enriching its schedule with guest designers and special projects, often snatching big names from Milan’s Men’s Fashion Week calendar.
In June, Salvatore Ferragamo and MSGM migrated to Florence to present their collections, while Marco De Vincenzo and Sterling Ruby both opted for the city to debut their men’s wear and fashion lines, respectively. In addition, Givenchy’s artistic director Clare Waight Keller staged her first stand-alone men’s show in the luxuriant gardens of Villa Palmieri as the French fashion house was the special guest of the event.
Former guest brands and designers showing in Florence included Y/Project’s creative director Glenn Martens, Roberto Cavalli and Craig Green, among others.