Guess has withdrawn its Telfar lookalike bag following public outrage on social media. The bag was identical to Telfar’s iconic bag but swapped the ’T’ for a ‘G’.
Telfar Clemens and his creative director Babak Radboy had been made aware of the lookalike design since February but had decided not to pursue any legal action. To be honest, they didn’t really need to. An army of Telfar devotees flocked to criticise Guess and call them out for copying the design.
Mimicking luxury designs has always been a taboo in the fashion world but Guess’s bag is a direct attempt (on purpose or not) to steal and profit from the work of an independent Black designer.
In a statement, Guess said “Signal Brands, the handbag licensee of Guess, Inc., has voluntarily halted the sale of its G-Logo totes. Some on social media have compared the totes to Telfar Global’s shopping bags. Signal Brands does not wish to create any impediments to Telfar Global’s success and, as such, has independently decided to stop selling the G-logo totes”.
Copying designs is nothing new but where Guess miscalculated was its underestimation of the community around the Telfar bag. Not only is it a sell-out hit but a social media phenomenon, with people praising the work that Telfar has done to create such a hyped product without resorting to more conventional methods.
However, what is great to see in all of this is that neither Clemens nor Radboy had to lift a finger. The ‘Telfar Tribe’ did it all for them.