A pop of color in the shape of a Telfar bag has become a common sighting gracing the outfits of stylish Chicagoans. Made by Queens-based Liberian-American designer Telfar Clemens, the vegan leather totes come in three sizes, multiple colors, and fairly affordable prices ($150 to $257). Since the bag, dubbed the “Bushwick Birkin,” quickly sells out, those willing to partake in the trend are advised to subscribe online for a restock alert at shop.telfar.net. Created in 2014, the bag’s minimal and practical design emblazoned with a clever logo appeals to a wide range of tastes—inclusivity is at the core of the brand. According to their team, “It is the first ‘it bag’ where ‘it’ has nothing to do with status”; their slogan is “Not for you—for everyone.”
But apparently that doesn’t apply to Megan Szkatulski’s boyfriend, who had some doubts about the orange Telfar bag his sister gave him on his birthday. “He goes metro sometimes, and he does carry bags, but this one was a little too much for him, so I stole it,” says Szkatulski. Coming out of a spinning class at the gym, she was serving some serious Yeezy vibes—even though she was very nonchalant about it: “I don’t feel like I have much personal style—I just wear whatever is cute and comfy.” The 30-year-old data analyst was particularly excited about her Oofos slides, which provide arch support and help her ailing knees.
A similarly casual—yet effective—approach to fashion is embraced by Jackson Powell, 24. A proponent of a “low-effort/high-impact” style, he was sporting an array of garments he’d just picked up off his floor. “I like to do neutrals with pops of bold colors that don’t necessarily go together,” he says. Jackson mixed a pair of biker shorts by local designer and textile maker Alyx Harch, a shirt he sewed himself, and, of course, a bubblegum pink Telfar bag. v