The Telfar Bag is Totally Overrated

Super roomy and easy to carry, totes usually make their way into every woman’s closet at some point. This could be because they are a student or an avid traveler, or maybe even a busy mother. Whatever their situation, having a tote bag becomes a lifeline to help them get through the day.

Almost every major brand offers some form of tote, but there is one notable bag that I’ve seen before that became an overnight obsession: the Telfar shopping tote.

Although it was originally created in 2014, the Telfar tote managed to become the temporary “IT bag” after being named the most wanted bag of 2020. And now the thing known as the “Bushwick Birkin” continues to be on the arms of many major celebrities and fashion influencers two years later.

I can see that it’s a simple bag at a fairly affordable price (at least if you can get your hands on it, it’s always sold out), but despite its great popularity, I personally just can’t help but think it’s also overrated.

Now hear me out…


I love the brand’s backstory and its dedication to inclusivity. As a person of color, it’s wonderful to see people who look more like me making a mark in an industry that has historically been dominated by European designers. I am forever grateful for the work of designers like Virgil Abro, Brandon Blackwood and Telfa Clemens. Their designs came at a time when certain communities were (and still are) looking for ways to deal with the harsh realities and 24-hour news cycles that can be less than kind. Fashion is an escape for many people, even if it’s just for a season.

But I just needed more from this bag.

As much as I want to do my part by supporting Telfar’s work, I just can’t bring myself to desire a bag that is so basic. And when I say basic, I don’t mean minimalist. I mean flimsy, plastic, and uninspired.

I just have so many problems with it!

Like Stella McCartney’s bag, I guess Telfar is great for purse lovers who don’t like leather, but isn’t vegan leather just processed plastic? Isn’t that more harmful to the environment than real leather?

Also, can you now add a brand logo to a product and call it fashionable?

I’d like to hear what others think about this, so please, my fellow purse bloggers, change my mind.

  • Do you have a Telfar tote? Do you like it? How does it hold up?
  • Is it better suited for running errands or traveling during the day?
  • Are they totally cool, or am I right in thinking they are overrated?

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