Corteiz: The Streetwear Brand That’s Taking Over the World

Today, you rarely see big crowds rushing to buy the latest trendy streetwear in the city. Things have changed and become more organized. They use raffles or planned online releases now. The whole “hard to find” factor has reduced because many brands want to sell in different stores, not just their own. Most streetwear brands follow a routine: they make a new collection each season, pick a date to release it online, set up pop-up shops to show it off, and keep selling through various stores.

But then, there’s this cool British streetwear brand called Corteiz that does things differently. They use creative and surprising ways to get people excited about their stuff, and it’s been a while since we’ve seen this much buzz around streetwear.

Corteiz RTW (Rules The World) started in 2017 by a guy from Britain and Nigeria named Clint, who was 26 years old back then and a bit of a mystery. In the last five years, everyone started recognizing their logo with Alcatraz Island, seeing it everywhere. Lots of famous UK rappers like Central Cee, slowthai, Stormzy, and Dave started wearing their clothes too. And recently, even bigger stars like Drake and Pharrell have given Corteiz a thumbs up. Drake wore one of their leather jackets this winter, and Pharrell invited Clint to a special dinner at Selfridges in the fall.

Just this month, Corteiz made a really big announcement – they’re teaming up with Nike for something awesome, a pair of Corteiz Air Max 95 coming in March!

So, what’s the deal with Corteiz, and how did they become one of London’s hottest streetwear brands since Palace? Let’s dig into the story and find out.

the early days of Corteiz

Let’s journey back to the roots of Corteiz, a tale of youthful ambition and the making of a unique streetwear brand.

Let me fill you in on some backstory. Before Clint kicked off Corteiz back in 2017, he had this cool venture called Cade when he was just 19. He teamed up with his buddy, Ade Sanusi, and together they jumped into the world of streetwear. Cade had its moment in the spotlight but faded out by the end of that same year. Still, it got noticed. Big names in British street style like Gully Guy Leo were sporting Cade gear. And guess what? Clint, going by his real name, spilled the beans in an interview with Time Out. He mentioned how his first Cade release got a spot in a short film by none other than ASAP Rocky.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Even though you can’t spot Cade’s stuff in the music video, their old Twitter account spilled the tea. Dexter Navy, in a bird’s-eye shot featured in ASAP Rocky’s “Money Man/Put That On My Set” video, captured Cade shooting their very first lookbook. And all this happened right in the heart of London.

Now, onto the mysterious part. Why did Cade close shop? What pushed Clint to swiftly launch Corteiz? Well, that’s a mystery. But let’s fast forward to Clint’s interview with Time Out. They asked him if being in London was a game-changer for launching a brand. Clint gave a nod to a tight-knit group of creative minds known as Apex. They were just a bunch of friends being themselves, and somehow, their vibe clicked with other young folks. That’s how they started amassing a solid online following. Cool, right?

You know, when Corteiz started out, their social media game was pretty exclusive. I mean, their pages were on lockdown, private and all. Back then, you could only catch a glimpse of the brand’s latest drops if Clint personally gave you the green light by accepting your follow request. It was like being part of a cool, secretive club.

The whole Corteiz journey kicked off on Instagram in September 2017. The first-ever post was this slick shot of three hoodies, showcasing that iconic Alcatraz Island logo they’re known for today. Clint spilled some truth in a TikTok video, mentioning how that logo symbolizes the feeling of being trapped in society. Corteiz, for him, is all about breaking free from these societal chains and going after what truly lights you up.

And let’s talk threads. Corteiz has been dishing out a variety of cool gear—T-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants, beanies, and even Corteiz cargo Pants and shorts, all rocking their signature logos. Now, in terms of dough you gotta drop, prices range from a humble £12 for a pair of socks to a hefty £300 for their killer “Bolo” jackets. It’s all about style, and they’re not holding back.

Back in the early days, Corteiz had a modest start. Clint spilled the beans about their first hoodie drop, and guess what? Only 16 hoodies were snatched up. Talk about a humble beginning, right? Fast forward nearly two years from that point, and Clint shared a piece of his journey on his personal Instagram. From a mere 50 followers, they shot up to a whopping 10,000 in just 18 months. Now that’s growth!

He posted, “Account was on private 95% of the time for the last 18 months. Only way to find it was via someone you knew. No explore page. No seeding. No paid for ads. No Pumplex Article, No Nothing. Just Us.” He was all about keeping it real, emphasizing that followers weren’t the be-all and end-all, but they sure marked progress. It’s like comparing a room filled with 50 people to one with 10,000. Big difference, right?

Fast forward to today, these guys have a whopping 137,600 followers on Twitter and a jaw-dropping 538,000 on Instagram. That’s a whole lot of love for what they’re bringing to the table. They’ve come a long way, but they’re still keeping that unique vibe intact.

You know how most streetwear brands have these planned drops, right? Like, every week, you expect something new. Well, not Corteiz. These guys are all about surprises. They like to keep it mysterious. No fixed day, no specific time. It’s like a game of hide and seek in the world of fashion. They drop hints, give out passwords, and you gotta be on your toes to catch the release. The password? Oh, they spill it on email, Twitter, or Instagram.

Now, this strategy has made buying from Corteiz a bit of a challenge. But it’s also made them an online sensation. It’s like they’ve created this digital club where die-hard fans follow their every move, eager for the next surprise.

But wait, there’s more. Corteiz knows how to stir up excitement in the real world too. Picture this: It’s not your usual queue outside a store. Oh no. They turn their in-person releases into these crazy hypebeast scavenger hunts. It’s like a game, but the prize is some cool Corteiz gear. Just like online, they keep the location and time under wraps. It’s like a big secret. When the day comes, they drop GPS coordinates, and it’s like a flash mob. People rush to the spot, all in for that shot at snagging some sweet Corteiz loot, sometimes even for next to nothing.

Here’s a recent highlight: All-black cargo pants, a fan favorite. Corteiz said, “Hey, get ’em for 99p!” Yep, less than a quid. Once those coordinates hit the scene, Shepherd’s Bush Park was buzzing. Folks were racing for tickets, all hoping to grab those slick cargos at a steal. It’s wild, really. Imagine fans almost tripping over each other just to rock those Alcatraz logo pants.

That’s the Corteiz vibe – unexpected, exciting, and it’s got people going crazy for their style.

Source (YouTube)

Let’s dive into one of the cool moves by Corteiz, the “Great Bolo Exchange.” Clint, the brains behind Corteiz, cooked up this plan, and it was a hit.

Picture this: Corteiz had these slick “Bolo” puffer jackets, and they were up for grabs. But here’s the twist – you had to trade in a jacket from some big names like The North Face, Arc’teryx, Stussy, Moncler, Supreme, or other big shots in the clothing game. People were all in for it. Fans flocked in, trading their winter jackets for a shot at a Corteiz puffer.

Now, usually, you’d think, “Hey, maybe Clint’s gonna sell those traded puffers, make some bucks.” But nope, Clint had other plans. He went ahead and did something pretty darn awesome. He donated jackets worth a whopping £16,000 to Laurence’s Larder, a local food bank in Britain. That’s spreading the warmth in more ways than one.

And that’s not all. Corteiz was on a giving spree. They chipped in with pencils, pens, paper, reading books, and over 60 T-shirts and tracksuit bottoms. All of it went to the Fruitful Rescue Centre, an orphanage over in Nairobi, Kenya. Now that’s what I call giving back, making fashion count for something more.

Source (YouTube)

Let’s dive into the evolution of Corteiz and its connection with the music scene.

Back in the early days, Corteiz knew how to kick things off with a bang. They threw these awesome parties and who did they have in the spotlight? Rising rappers like Sam Wise were rocking the stage. It was a vibe, you know? Fast forward to today, it’s like a rite of passage for British rappers. Slowthai, Stormzy, you name ’em, they’ve been spotted repping Corteiz’s gear. Take Dave, for instance. He went all in, wearing a Corteiz ensemble in his “Starlight” music video, which by the way, rocked the UK charts. And guess what? Clint, the man behind Corteiz, even made a cool cameo at the video’s end.

But it’s not just the rappers taking a shine to Corteiz. British artists like Jorja Smith and Skepta have been spotted flaunting Corteiz pieces. One notable collab that put Corteiz on the map was with Central Cee, a UK rapper making waves. Back in the day, before Corteiz blew up, Central Cee rocked a Corteiz vest and belted shorts in his music video for “Loading,” a breakout single in 2020. That was a big deal for Corteiz, a stamp of approval, you could say. They even joined forces for a limited edition T-shirt drop, celebrating the release of Central Cee’s 23 mixtape last year. It was up for grabs only for 23 hours, making it a hot commodity. Oh, and let’s not forget the collab with rapper Meekz in November, keeping the music-fashion fusion going strong. That’s how Corteiz is painting its canvas in the music scene, one collab at a time.

The backstory of Corteiz and its connection to the celebrity world.

You might look at Corteiz and think, “Ah, just another brand riding the celebrity wave, probably getting a boost from freebies and connections.” But Clint, the mastermind behind Corteiz, is clear about something – he’s never been one to dish out freebies just to get noticed. He’s not into that whole ‘celebrity seeding’ thing. Back in 2020, when Corteiz hit the 20,000 followers mark, Clint took to Twitter and laid it out, “No sponsored ads, no free clothes, no ass lickin celebs, and most of all, no bullshit blogs.” He was keeping it real, no strings attached.

In fact, Clint appreciated artists who genuinely supported Corteiz. He gave props to Dave in a tweet, highlighting how Dave never asked for discounts or freebies. Dave just hit the store, bought what he liked, and that’s the kind of support Clint values.

Now, here’s a fun turn of events. British rappers embracing Corteiz caught the eye of none other than Drake. Yep, the man with an affinity for all things British. Come January, Drake posted a picture donning a sleek leather Corteiz jacket that had just dropped around Christmas. Can you blame him? The leather was smooth as butter, and the campaign video Clint crafted was like a mini-movie. Walid Labri, the director from Division, the same powerhouse behind some top-tier visuals for Drake and 21 Savage, was at the helm. The video was next level, think Micheal Bay-esque. It showed a model in that enticing Corteiz leather jacket descending like a meteorite, landing right into a London taxi. Now, who wouldn’t want to rock that piece after watching a spectacle like that? It’s all about the artistry, and Corteiz clothing is nailing it, making waves that even reach the likes of Drake.

Some deep spects of Corteiz and its connections with key figures in the fashion world.

When it comes to big names supporting Corteiz in the fashion realm, you can’t overlook the late Virgil Abloh. Abloh was not just a supporter; he was a notable figure in the fashion world. Picture this: Abloh rocking one of Corteiz’s iconic Alcatraz logo hoodies and casually sharing a pic of him sitting next to Clint on Instagram. That’s not just support; that’s a shoutout.

Now, let’s talk about a major co-sign. At the last Met Gala in 2021 that Abloh attended, he spilled the beans on Instagram. What was the secret? He was sporting Corteiz socks to the event. That’s like the fashion equivalent of giving a standing ovation. But Abloh’s interest in the UK scene didn’t stop at Corteiz clothing. He was tuned into the UK’s cultural pulse. From featuring drum & bass legend Goldie in his Spring/Summer 2022 collection to backing British skateboarder Lucien Clarke as LV’s first sponsored skater and spinning classic grime tunes in his DJ sets, Abloh was in sync with the UK’s vibe. And let’s not forget, Skepta’s grime anthem “That’s Not Me” had a beat titled “Virgil,” inspired by Skepta attending one of Abloh’s DJ sets. Clearly, Abloh had his finger on the pulse of London’s streetwear scene.

Now, let’s touch on the flip side. Every hyped streetwear brand faces the reseller brigade. They grab limited edition drops, and next thing you know, they’re flipping them for a hefty profit. Corteiz faced this too, but here’s where it gets interesting. Clint wasn’t having any of it. He took a stand against these resellers. He didn’t just turn a blind eye like many brands. Oh no. Clint went on Instagram stories and showed everyone he meant business. He’d go on Depop himself, hunting down those reselling Corteiz post-release, and cancel their orders right then and there. Talk about taking control.

He even publicly called out resellers, claiming that everything on resale platforms for Corteiz was fake. There was this one time he noticed a reseller selling a Corteiz piece acquired through one of his in-person drops. He didn’t hold back, going on Twitter and giving the flipper a piece of his mind. That tweet was gold, stating, “If ur gonna resell a free tee do it properly… I’ll buy that shit back and sell it for 100 just to spite you.” And if that wasn’t clear enough, Corteiz sent a bold message through a campaign video where they portrayed a Corteiz reseller getting a taste of karma for flipping their merch.

That’s Corteiz for you – not just a brand, but a movement against the norm, standing up to hypebeast capitalism and making a mark in the fashion world.

In last, Interesting journey of Corteiz, filled with surprising turns and passionate supporters.

Picture this, on a chilly January 17th, Corteiz set the streetwear scene abuzz with a teaser that turned heads. Their iconic Alcatraz Island logo was boldly projected alongside the Nike swoosh on the facade of Niketown London. It was a mainstream spotlight that the once-underground streetwear label had never experienced before. The irony? In 2021, Corteiz had faced a legal tussle with Nike due to the resemblance of their brand name to one of Nike’s famed sneaker silhouettes—the Cortez.

The legal tangle ended with Nike asking Clint to pay up a sum of £1,850 ($2,295). But surprisingly, this didn’t put a dent in the future prospects of a collaboration. It seemed like both parties swiftly moved past the courtroom drama.

Yet, as Corteiz climbed the ladder of popularity, a subset of its hardcore supporters began to express concerns. On a discussion thread within the r/Corteiz subreddit, dedicated to celebrating the brand’s four-year anniversary, voices of worry echoed. Some fans felt that the quality of Corteiz’s garments was slipping, designs were losing their uniqueness, and the brand was churning out too much product. There was a genuine fear that Corteiz might travel down the same path as Trapstar—a British streetwear label that hit the mainstream and went through notable changes.

In response to these concerns, one diligent r/Corteiz member brought the thread to Clint’s attention. They shared the founder’s responses about these growing concerns within the community. Clint was quick to respond, assuring that Corteiz hadn’t been “compromised” amidst its rise in popularity. He even shared a tweet from 2021 that pushed back on critics upset about Corteiz’s mainstream journey. When a Reddit user pointed out, “You can’t just pump out Alcatraz logos for the next five years,” Clint fired back with a sharp retort, “What has Nike been doing for 58 years g.” The dialogue was intense and showcased Clint’s determination to stand by his brand’s evolution.

In the grand scheme of things, only time would unfold whether Corteiz’s hype would endure. What’s evident, though, is that Clint is ready to steer his brand onto a bigger stage, eager to let it conquer the world. The journey has been compelling, and the road ahead holds a promise of even greater intrigue.

People Also Ask About Corteiz

What is the history of Corteiz?

Corteiz was founded in 2017 by Clint Mansell, a British-Nigerian university student. The brand quickly gained popularity for its high-quality garments, unique aesthetic, and rebellious spirit. Corteiz clothing has since become one of the most popular streetwear brands in the world, with a loyal following of celebrities and fashion enthusiasts alike.

Why is Corteiz popular?

Corteiz is popular for a number of reasons, including:

  • High-quality garments: Corteiz uses premium materials and construction methods to ensure that its products are durable and long-lasting.
  • Unique aesthetic: Corteiz designs are often inspired by streetwear culture, but they also incorporate elements of high fashion. This unique blend of styles has given Corteiz a distinctive look that has made it popular with a wide range of consumers.
  • Affordable prices: Corteiz offers a wide range of high-quality garments at affordable prices. This makes the brand accessible to a wide range of consumers, regardless of their budget.
  • Constant innovation: Corteiz is a brand that is constantly evolving and innovating. The brand is always releasing new designs and collaborations, which keeps its offerings fresh and exciting.

What are some of the most popular Corteiz products?

Some of the most popular Corteiz products include:

  • The Corteiz logo hoodie: This hoodie features the iconic Corteiz logo on the front and back. It is a staple of the Corteiz brand and is a must-have for any fan.
  • The Corteiz track pants: These track pants are made from high-quality materials and feature a comfortable fit. They are perfect for everyday wear or for a night out on the town.
  • The Corteiz baseball cap: This baseball cap features the Corteiz logo on the front and is a great way to show your support for the brand.

Where can I buy Corteiz products?

Corteiz products can be purchased from the Corteiz website or from select retailers.

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