Culture

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez + Telfar Is a Beautiful NYC Love Story

Lead Photo: Art by Alan Lopez for Remezcla
Art by Alan Lopez for Remezcla

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez broke the fashion internet with her medium oxblood Telfar as she exited the Capitol on Saturday.

When the congresswoman wears a Telfar bag, it’s a New York love story. AOC celebrated the brand’s roots on her Instagram story after Telfar’s “Secure the Bag” 24-hour-sale. Telfar Clemens, the 35-year-old designer behind the brand that has the forever sold out bag described as “the Bushwick Birkin,” was born in LeFrak City in AOC’s district, NY-14. Growing up in LeFrak City, Queens shaped Clemens. In lieu of a black tile on Blackout Tuesday or a “corporate announcement of values,” the brand shared its origins.

Though the Congresswoman grew up miles away in the Bronx, Telfar’s accessible fashion aligns beautifully with AOC’s values. This is arguably best captured in the brand’s tagline, “NOT FOR YOU — FOR EVERYONE.”

Ever since AOC told conservative pundits to “Get used to [her] slaying,” she has exhibited a keen awareness of the politics of fashion and beauty as a woman of color and how to harness her power as a tool for self-love.

Instead of hollowly calling on folks to buy from Black-owned businesses when it’s in style, AOC is empowering her neighbors through her policies while repping them through her accessories. By opening up her Telfar—holding up essentials from sticky notes to her clear braces—she’s opening up to us.

PSA: You can cop your own gold, white, or grey Telfar tomorrow and, if you live in LeFrak City and are in need of support, email [email protected] for more information or check out AOC’s resources on starting your own mutual aid group.