Then Zoey’s mom unlocked her iPhone and pulled out a recorded clip of Telfar. “I was just showing him,” she said, referring to her daughter, “because I saw the ad on Fox 5.” She wondered if a special edition of the bag, featured in the news segment, would be inside the store. Otherwise, “I want a blank.”
Towards the end of the line, Mae Coyiuto stood with friends. She was from the Philippines and figured she should check out the drop, announced on Instagram just two days before, because the timing was aligned. The 28-year-old novelist recently heard about Telfar from pop star Beyoncé, who sings “This Telfar bag imported/Birkins, them shits in storage” on her latest album, Renaissance. Still, Coyiuto isn’t sure how much cache a “Bushwick Birkin” will have in Manila. “People who can afford designer bags there tend to stick with older established brands like Gucci and Chanel,” she said. “Even a brand like Balenciaga didn’t click [there]!”
Inside the repurposed Rainbow location were hundreds and hundreds of bags. The colorways of Telfar Clemens, founder of the brand, cover practically the entire color spectrum, with 38 shades available online. Take the diversity of the color blue for example. The brand offers versions of the bag in “Pool blue”, “Cyan blue”, “Cerulean blue”, “Painter’s blue” and “Cobalt”.
Once the sale began, customers were allowed to enter as a group and were only given five minutes to grab the bags of their choice. People took polite but quick walks inside, quickly grabbing the desired color and size. It was not uncommon to see five bags (the limit per customer) dangling from one wrist. Smiles abounded.
And there were a few sprinkled Easter eggs for the sharp-eyed patrons: The models were dressed in colorful tracksuits and duffel bags that have yet to be released or officially announced.
In one corner, a trio beamed as they held their loot close to home. “Pink is my first,” Lisa Wright said, showing the Telfar bag wrapped around her body. Then she showed the five new bags hanging from her left arm. “And this is my second, third and fourth.” She pointed to the fifth and said, “I strength share this one with my mom.