Guess has pulled one of its latest bags off shelves due to an online controversy. Tweets comparing Guess’ G-Logo totes to Telfar Global’s popular shopping bags must’ve reached an executive’s desk because the 40-year-old American fashion staple has decided to stop producing that particular style. On Saturday (March 27), Guess sent a statement to PAPER magazine detailing their response to the social media backlash.
“Signal Brands, the handbag licensee of Guess, Inc., has voluntarily halted the sale of its G-Logo totes,” the statement reads. “Some on social media have compared the totes to Telfar Global’s shopping bags. Signal Brands does not wish to create any impediments to Telfar Global’s success and, as such, has independently decided to stop selling the G-logo totes.”
One Twitter user shared images of the two bags side-by-side. “I hope Telfar sues the hell out of y’all,” the tweeter wrote. “Not only did they completely rip Telfar’s design, they blatantly disregarded a Black queer man. Rather than enter into a design deal they just stole. All the while they have a link to support the NAACP in their link tree.”
“The other trash part is Telfar will keep trying to keep up with their demand as an independent brand without the same access to resources while Guess produces bags like it’s nothing,” the tweeter added.
Both square-shaped bags are adorned with an embossed logo. The Guess bag features an enclosed letter G, while Telfar’s features its infamous TC emblem. They’re both equipped with two handles, plus a shoulder strap. Guess’ bags start in the $70 range and are made from faux leather, and Telfar’s shopping bags are priced at $150 and higher. They are also created from 100% vegan leather.
Guess could’ve collaborated with Telfar Global. It’s likely Telfar would’ve partnered with them to produce a co-branded bag. A 2020 Business of Fashion interview with Telfar’s founder Telfar Clemens and his business parter Babak Radboy revealed that a collaboration with GAP was supposed to be released last year. GAP postponed the partnership indefinitely after stores shut down due to the pandemic. “There were so many opportunities that were on the brink of happening that there is no reason to follow up on right now,” Radboy said at the time.