Telfar Clemens to Design Olympic Uniforms for Liberia

Telfar Clemens and Emmanuel Matadi Photographed by Jason Nocito

Liberia’s Olympic team is stepping up its style game for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games as it seals a partnership with New York’s Telfar on Monday.

Telfar is a unisex fashion brand founded by Liberian-American designer, Telfar Clemens, best known for his highly sought after bags. The company will be the designer of Liberia’s Olympic uniforms.

The universal fashion company made the announcement in an Instagram post on Monday. The post featured a series of jerseys to be used by Liberia’s national track and field team in the upcoming Olympics.

“Watch the OPENING CEREMONY [July 23] of the 2021 OLYMPICS to see the FUTURE,” the post read. “Our Runway. Run way. THANK YOU @matadi and Kouty Mawenh — WE ALL- WE READY – WE WON – WE ALL READY WON. #REPATRIATION.”

Clemens told the New York Times that the out-of-the-box design of the uniform was inspired by the brief to be unique in the design.

“It’s all things you can’t find,” Mr. Clemens said. “They said, ‘Go crazy.’ So I did.”

“They might have been surprised by some of it,” Clemens said. “But I haven’t heard a no. Just excitement.”

In the report by The New York Times, Olympic sprinter Emmanuel Matadi was named as the one who initiated the partnership after his hearing his girlfriend talk about the Telfar bags. Knowing Clemens was from Liberia, Matadi mooted the partnership to the Liberia’s Olympic attaché and former competitor Kouty Mawenh, who saw the opportunity to merge Liberian talent, referring to Clemens as “an elite athlete in his space, just like we are.”

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