FEEL YOU is a celebration of individuality and style with over 30 artists, creatives, and activists from around the world. We open the series with designer Telfar Clemens, who created and cultivated the provocative, boundless, and ever-evolving genderless label, TELFAR.
Recently winning American Accessory Designer of the Year at the 2020 CFDA Fashion Awards, Clemens previously deconstructed the UGG Classic Boot as the centerpiece of his AW11 fashion show. TELFAR’s interpretation and use of the silhouette was audacious, bold, and rebellious. Together, UGG and TELFAR will unveil a collection in 2021 that amplifies that same core narrative.
How do you FEEL in 2020?
I feel free.
What has changed about your life, brand, and daily routine?
We have always been about visualizing a different world, and the world right now is completely different. It feels like so many things we put out there are visions turning into reality. Even the way we work – which has always been completely different from other brands – it’s now as if we got a 15-year head start.
Where do you find inspiration?
It always starts out in the world, just watching people wherever I am. I’m not looking for the most “fashionable” person: what I’m attracted to are people who are dressing according to something else. They are dressing some kind of way because it feels right – it feels like them. I think when something feels good and doesn’t look quite right, that’s what excites me.
How do you FEEL when you are creating a collection?
A collection is kind of an expression of how I am feeling, or what I’m feeling at that time. I usually start alone. I need to feel I have space and time to find out what interests me rather than any other consideration. What do I want?
What is your history with UGG?
Wow. I made unofficial, unauthorized UGG boots in two shows dating back to 2010! I’ve always been obsessed with a certain kind of ubiquity, and when something unique ends up on everybody, that’s our model.
How does the brand make you FEEL?
When you see a pair of UGG boots you can instantly feel them on your feet. It’s a physical thing. You can feel how soft and cozy they are against your skin. I find UGG really sexy. At the same time, I think it’s really tough. This sexy, soft kind of rugged.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your collaboration with UGG.
I think a lot of fashion collaborations attempt to elevate something popular. I am not into high and low as a concept, period. What I want to do is get down to the DNA of UGG and see what genes we have in common. To get down to the core of that feeling.
You were the first gender-free brand. How did you reflect this in the collaboration?
In the most obvious possible way! Everything for everyone. I will never make clothes for a gender.
How do you choose your collaboration partners?
I think right away you can see if something is there or not between the DNA of two brands. It has to feel necessary, almost inevitable – like the thing you make together had to happen.
UGG x TELFAR