It's been a long and hard road to the Olympics, and with several elements of the Tokyo games still up in the air, it's safe to say the pressure is on for national teams. One team, however, is floating on cloud nine and it's all thanks to Telfar.
For the first time in more than two decades, the Liberian Olympic delegation has gottn a sponsor to outfit them. And it is not the usual Nike or Adidas or other sportswear machine. It's Telfar Clemens.
The Liberian-American designer's brand announced that it is set to be the official sponsor of the Liberian National Team on Monday in an Instagram post.
The post showed Telfar elevate his signature spliced unisex designs in blue tones with the Liberian star and bold graphics. The offering so far includes his siganture one-shouldered tank, tracksuit, and crewneck sweater.
Per The New York Times, the unique partnership came about after Emmanuel Matadi, a sprinter who represented Liberia in the 2016 Rio Olympics, listened to his girlfriend talk about Telfar bags. Matadi knew that Clemens was Liberian, and passed on the idea to Liberia’s Olympic attaché and former competitor Kouty Mawenh, who called Clemens “an elite athlete in his space, just like we are.” Clemens had never designed performance wear, but had already been contemplating venturing into athletic wear and agreed to the sponsorship, which includes covering food and travel for the team, almost right off the bat.
In just four months, Telfar designed and made about 70 pieces, “from leggings and unitards to sweats, duffel bags and even racing spikes,” the Times reports. “The athletes are testing the gear now, and it is being tweaked to performance specifications.”
“It’s all things you can’t find,” Clemens told the Times. “They said, ‘Go crazy.’ So I did.”
Clemens said that the collection will debut during the Olympics and he’ll make a limited collection of athletic wear available on his website, with other “evergreen” workout wear dropping in September.