Fact: The Fashion Set Can't Get Enough of These 7 Telfar Bags


(Image credit: @nayelizabethh)

When you think of an It bag, what’s the first style to come to mind? Is it a Prada Cleo handbag? Or how about a Bottega Veneta Jodie hobo bag? Historically speaking, handbags that attain cult status have always been from traditional luxury houses. That is until Telfar came along. You’ve most likely encountered a Telfar bag at some point in your life—maybe it was while gallivanting through Bushwick, scrolling through Instagram, or even reading some of our guides around Black-owned handbag brands to shop. But no matter how familiar you are with Telfar, it goes without saying that this brand has revolutionized how we view luxury handbags. And the hype is very much worth it. But if you’re not familiar with how this brand gained popularity or just wondering which are the best Telfar handbags to buy, you’ll want to keep reading, as we’ve done a little deep dive on the brand. Whether you’re aiming to add more bags to your collection or want to understand why this brand is so beloved, we’ve got you covered.

About Telfar


(Image credit: @nayelizabethh)

While Telfar has gained notoriety in the past few years for handbags that sell out in seconds, the brand is more than that. Founded by Liberian American designer Telfar Clemens in 2005, this Black-owned brand is all about making fashion accessible for all. That ethos is embodied through androgynous apparel and affordable accessories. Considering how famous this brand is now, it may come as a surprise that it took some time for Telfar to become cemented into the cultural zeitgeist. The iconic shopper tote that Telfar is known for wasn’t even released until the designer’s F/W 14 show (nine years after the brand’s founding). And even after the release of the now-viral tote, it took three more years for the designer to receive the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund’s top prize in 2017.


(Image credit: @naomielizee)

From there, Telfar’s handbags began to bubble up as a favorite among the fashion set and were dubbed the "Bushwick Birkin” by makeup artist Xya Rachel. Still, Telfar didn’t get the love it rightfully deserved, despite its popularity among the fashion set, until 2020. After calls to support Black-owned businesses in the wake of protests following the murder of George Floyd, the brand began to blow up. Telfar’s shopping totes were everywhere—from being featured on The Wendy Williams Show to being spotted on celebrities such as Beyoncé and Oprah. Rather than letting the hype die down, Clemens has kept the brand more relevant than ever through cunning business moves like launching its Bag Security Program with Klarna so customers can preorder the totes in every size and color, along with establishing collaborations with Ugg, Moncler, and the Liberian Olympic team and its first-ever blind preorder with Eastpak


(Image credit: @aniyahmorinia)

Basically, Telfar has stayed out here booked and busy, but what makes this brand worth buying into goes beyond the buzz. Clemens’s continued dedication to building the brand over 18 years in an industry in which it’s hard for any designer to make it (much less a designer who identifies as LGBTQ+ and Black) is what makes securing one of these bags all the more special. 

Keep scrolling to see the seven best Telfar bags to shop right now.

7. Telfar Orange Shopping Tote


(Image credit: @_magda__)

Not to sound like a broken record, but Telfar’s handbags are crowd-pleasers because of their minimalist design with punchy colors. You can get everything from chocolate brown and olive green to cerulean and lavender, but one of the current best hues is orange. I know Elle Woods would disapprove, but considering that orange has been popping off on the runways, this bag is worth investing in right now.

Shop the Telfar tote second-hand:

6. Telfar Gold Shopping Tote


(Image credit: @naturallykam)

When Telfar announced its metallic versions of the iconic tote, the internet lost it. Frankly, I get it. Metallics are neutrals in my book, and there’s no better version of this bag to invest in than the gold one. (Though, you also can find it in silver, bronze, and copper.)

Shop the Telfar tote second-hand:

5. Telfar Red Shopping Tote 


(Image credit: @aniyahmorinia)

Another beloved Telfar bag among the fashion set is its true-red tote. The brand has released this iconic shape in over 33 shades, but while scrolling through social media, I couldn’t help notiinge how many people love this bag. Considering that red also dominated S/S 22 runways, this is one of the best shades to splurge on for the season.

Shop the Telfar tote second-hand:

4. Telfar Bubblegum Pink Shopper Tote


(Image credit: @therealina)

What could make Telfar’s iconic shopper tote even better? If it’s in bubblegum pink, obviously. I have yet to speak to anyone in the fashion set that isn’t obsessed with this bag, and considering how popular this hue continues to be, this is a must-shop without a doubt. 

Shop the Telfar tote second-hand:

3. Telfar x Ugg Shearling Shopper Tote


(Image credit: @thatgirlyusra)

When I missed out on buying Telfar’s first collaboration tote with Ugg, I felt like kicking myself. Those lucky enough to get their hands on the full-shearling or shearling-lined versions of this tote in any size are indeed God’s favorites.

Shop the Telfar tote second-hand:

2. Telfar Cream Shopper Tote


(Image credit: @claire_most)

A quick scroll through Instagram, and you’ll see the second-most-beloved Telfar bag is the cream shopping tote. Can you blame the hype? She’s far too delicious to pass up.

Shop the Telfar tote second-hand:

1. Telfar Black Shopper Tote


(Image credit: @fashionwithjazz)

Last but certainly not least, the shopping tote color that’s most beloved by the fashion set is the tried-and-true hue: black. I own the small version of this tote, but I can tell you no matter what size you get or how you style it, this bag is the full embodiment of what Telfar is all about: It’s for everyone.

Shop the Telfar tote second-hand:

Shop More Noteworthy Telfar Bags:

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman is a fashion editor living in New York City. What began as a hobby (blogging on Tumblr) transformed into a career dedicated to storytelling through various forms of digital media. She started her career at the print publication 303 Magazine, where she wrote stories, helped produce photo shoots, and planned Denver Fashion Week. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as MyDomaine's social media editor until she was promoted to work across all of Clique's publications (MyDomaine, Byrdie, and Who What Wear) as the community manager. Over the past few years, Jasmine has worked on Who What Wear's editorial team, using her extensive background to champion rising BIPOC designers, weigh in on viral trends, and profile stars such as Janet Mock and Victoria Monét. She is especially interested in exploring how art, fashion, and pop culture intersect online and IRL.