Then, Zoey’s mother unlocked her iPhone and pulled up a saved clip of Telfar. “I was just showing her,” she said, referencing her daughter, “because I saw the advertisement on Fox 5.” She wondered if a special-edition version of the bag, featured on the news segment, would be inside the store. Otherwise, “I want a white one.”
Near the end of the line, Mae Coyiuto stood with friends. She was visiting from the Philippines and figured she should check out the drop, announced on Instagram only two days prior, since the timing aligned. The 28-year-old novelist recently learned of Telfar thanks to pop star Beyoncé—who sings “This Telfar bag imported/Birkins, them shits in storage,” on her latest album, Renaissance. Still, Coyiuto is not sure how much caché a “Bushwick Birkin” will have in Manila. “People that can afford designer bags there tend to hold on to older established brands like Gucci and Chanel,” she said. “Even a brand like Balenciaga hasn’t clicked [there]!”
Inside the revamped Rainbow location were hundreds and hundreds of bags. The colorways from Telfar Clemens, founder of the brand, practically cover the entire color spectrum, with 38 shades available online. Take the sheer 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 started, customers were granted entrance in groups and allowed only five minutes to grab their bags of choice. People performed polite but brisk power walks inside, snatching up their desired color and size with haste. It was not uncommon to see five bags (the limit per customer) dangling off a wrist. Smiles abounded.
And there were a few Easter eggs sprinkled around for sharp-eyed customers: Mannequins were dressed in colorful tracksuits and duffel bags that have yet to be released or formally announced.
Over in a corner, a trio beamed as they held their loot near and dear. “The pink one is my first,” Lisa Wright said, showing off the Telfar bag wrapped across her body. Then, she showed off the five brand-new bags hanging off her left arm. “And that’s my second, third, and fourth.” She pointed to the fifth one and said, “I might share this one with my mother.”