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Designer Telfar Clemens knows that some people shadily scammed their way into buying his “Bushwick Birkins” and he’s issuing a response.

As previously reported the coveted Telfar shopping bags restocked last Thursday and sold out in mere minutes after the website was flooded with customers. Some of those “customers” turned out to be bots who grabbed the leather bags that range in price from $150 to $257, to put them on resell sites allegedly for upwards of $5,000.

That prompted the site to be shut down and the company to send a message bashing bots for ruining the real customers’ shopping experiences. “Telfar is for the people. Not Bots. Store on ice while we root them out” read a message from the brand.

Still, according to Telfar himself, the website shut down wasn’t only because of bots, it was because of the sheer volume of customers. “We broke the Internet,” he told Complex. 

“We improved security right before this drop. We were literally on the phone all day trying to find out how extensive the problem is because the vast majority of orders are real. Then our Shopify site crashed,” said Clemens in an email. “The root of it is not that we shut [the site] because of bots, but simply because there was an over demand flowing into the site at once, a number that was way higher than the bots itself. Essentially, we broke the Internet.”


“The effect of the bots is also exaggerated. If there were no bots, roughly the same thing would have happened. A vast majority of bots are buying for individual customers from what we see. I think it’s well known what we are about and what our bag is about. It means something real not only that we are selling directly, but who we are selling to. That is a powerful form of resilience and community.”

The bots and resellers are definitely an issue, and an unfortunate one since what they are doing goes against what we are about. But at the end of the day, we are not trying to create fake scarcity. We just have crazy demand that continues to be met every time we up our inventory for restocks.”

If you’re pining away for these must-have accessories, Telfar is imploring you to sign up for the email list—although, admittedly you still might miss out on the restock. Telfar told Complex that the amount of bags being sold is unfortunately scarce due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People can sign up to be notified for each individual color and size of the bag, and they get an email the second it goes up. It’s pretty straightforward. We are working on doing it through text.”

Clemens said the pandemic has affected the production of bags. “We did not plan some kind of strategy around making the bag scarce. The pandemic shut down our supply chain temporarily at the exact moment that our demand exploded. At this point, we are having a hard time knowing what the demand is because everything sells out in minutes. It takes time to make bags and put them on a boat. We’ve been flying them in to have these drops.”

When asked if he planned on producing more of his prized purses given the demand, Telfar emphasized the importance of timing.

“We have never been about a hype model. It’s about timing, if anything. We want the bag to be part of how we do our thing. Our friend Marzy the other day posted, “We true to this, not new to this.” That captures it pretty well.”

Are you preparing for the Telfar restock???

If you are, you can click HERE to be alerted when their shop reopens online.


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