At the Olympic Opening Ceremony, Team Liberia left us all floored at their sartorial statement. Outfitted by Telfar Clemens, fashion’s de facto leader against luxury’s insularity, the country’s delegation dazzled at the international games in a seventy piece collection — consisting of one-shouldered compression tanks, sweatpants, windbreaker bottoms and even racing spikes. As the Olympic torch has been extinguished, the mononymous brand has launched an expansive line of genderless apparel dedicated to Liberia.
Marked by the country’s red, white and blue flag palette (and complemented with shades of sand and navy), the offering features cropped hoodies, gown-length jerseys, sarong pants and wrapped garments. Cutouts, drawstrings, and mesh paneling are weaved throughout the capsule as signature flairs. According to the brand, the collection “tells a story of a return mirrored in Liberia’s rebuilding of its national team, which finds its athletes in its diaspora; scattered across America by the afterlife of colonialism, war and Ebola.”
“It will be an evergreen collection,” the 36-year-old previously The New York Times. He continued, “These are clothes we want to sell for the rest of our lives.”
As a smaller country, Liberia has oft-been thwarted in its ability to clinch a sponsorship — while other countries dominate the global arena with towering financial backing. The mastermind behind the coveted “Bushwick Birkin” not only designed the country’s competition fits but also granted the team with a massive sponsorship which included food and travel.
With Telfar, a newly-minted fashion behemoth, stamping itself behind the country as the first sponsorship to arrive since 2000, Liberia was ushered into an unprecedented spotlight during the equally unprecedented games. Clemens, at the age of five, emigrated with his family to the United States in 1990 during the country’s first civil war, so the garments are doubly a love letter of resilience to his roots.