Telfar Clemens Designs Liberia’s Olympic Dress


Official Olympian wardrobes are rarely “cool” – and rarely found in smaller countries with less promotional power. This year, however, Liberia has changed that narrative.

They have only three athletes competing, but they have formed a Summer Olympic team almost every year since 1956. However, they never won Olympic medals and had to seek sponsorship before almost every Game. Where is this Telfar Clemens, Brooklyn-based designer famous for “Bushwick Birkin” steps in.

Clemens is a Liberian-American designer who founded his own company in 2004 with the slogan “Not for you, but for everyone”. When Liberian sprinter Emmanuel Matadi learned that Clemens was a Liberian, the team decided to reach out. The resulting collection, which includes performance looks and unlike anything seen before in the Olympic arena, meant more to both the team and the designer than anyone had expected.

Read on to find out the story behind the collaboration and how it came together.


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