Telfar Live! Featuring Kelela, Dev Hynes and Ian Isiah

Telfar Live! Featuring Kelela, Dev Hynes and Ian Isiah

Words by Justin Moran / Photography by Andrew Boyle

"It took over 10 years for Telfar to receive a review from the fashion industry," wrote the brand in their Fall '18 show notes. And this year, Telfar received the biggest, "most conservative" award yet, winning the 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. But it's not with resentment that designer Telfar Clemens references his decade-long hustle, it's with thanks — a level of gratitude that inspired his NYFW show.

Rather than a traditional runway, Telfar hosted a live concert in Manhattan's Spring Studios. The production was aptly titled "Music," and aimed to explore the way music builds authentic community rather than "using musicians for their celebrity." Still, the brand managed to book some major names, all of whom are longtime friends of Clemens: Kelela, Dev Hynes (Blood Orange), and Ian Isiah, among others.

Related | Kelela Goes Deep on Embracing and Celebrating Black Womanhood

The space was packed (it hit capacity with hundreds crowded outside), as Hynes and Isiah took center stage. "Everybody make some noise right now," Isiah sang soulfully, inviting the audience to join him. Slowly names like Kelsey Lu, Bryndon Cook, 070 Shake and Alton Mason walked onto the platform, with Clemens himself belting out his own rendition of "Grateful" by gospel singer Hezekiah Walker. "[I'm] grateful to my faithful, faithful customers," he joked, adding some true-to-Telfar humor to the meaningful event.

Check out photos from the Telfar concert by Andrew Boyle, below.

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