Fashion, Trends

Can you answer an impossible riddle to land a Telfar bag?

That’s one way to drop something coveted.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Sep 27, 2021

The Bushwick Birkin (aka Telfar) bags tend to fly off the shelves in a matter of minutes. In an attempt to fend off and block resale bots from preventing diehard Telfar fans from receiving their goodies, the much-acclaimed and beloved brand has devised a sneaky plan.


An interesting CAPTCHA

Having recently dropped another batch of its infamous bag, the label also dropped a new CAPTCHA system, hoping that would push out hackers and bots in the form of software programs that previously used to acquire more than half of the stock (which means fans would only be able to get the bags through resale, which usually incurred an uptick in prices).


Naturally, the tasks presented perplexed real-life fans of the brand. The riddles included a fill-in-the-blank quiz in which users were asked to complete the phrase “Not for you, for ___,” (the correct answer being “everyone,” as per the Telfar slogan), and another in which buyers were asked to quickly assess multiple thumbnail images of cats and draw a square around the largest one.


Very shortly after this release, Twitter was flooded with people desperately looking for clues to crack the code. One buyer whined, “So Telfar’s Captcha problem is harder and more diversified than the SAT and ACT combined,” while others complained that their orders had timed out before they could interpret the cryptic crossword. “That Telfar captcha was developed by the Riddler,” “Just sick,” “Telfar count yo days,” are some examples of the tweets.


Telfar Clemens’ business partner, Babak Radboy, responded to The New York Times in a statement, saying, “It takes time to do things well. Our perspective is long-term. The truth is, people aren’t getting the bag because they have to draw a box around the cat,” he continued. As a result, more people and fewer bots are receiving bags. But apparently, the main reason that people can’t acquire the bag is that there are tens of thousands more people who want bags than there are bags available at any given time.”


CAPTCHA firms have been compelled to enhance the difficulty of their challenges in order to outwit troublesome automated solvers as machine learning continues to improve at an accelerated rate. While some Telfar customers have written to express their displeasure, these enigma-like cognitive teasers are poised to become more commonplace. “Telfar is for the people, not the bots” the brand declared.


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Photo via Justin French