The Rise of Corteiz: Inside the genius marketing strategies of London's hottest streetwear brand
Over the past few years, Corteiz, the London based streetwear brand, has taken the fashion world by storm and cultivated a die-hard fanbase.
Originally created in 2017, the brand was founded by the once-mysterious 26-year-old British-Nigerian university student Clint (otherwise known as Clint419) in his bedroom in West London.
The brand has quickly become one of the hottest and most influential streetwear brands out there, offering a diverse selection of exclusive but affordable clothing items, including t-shirts, hoodies, and cargo pants.
Its unique logo featuring Alcatraz Island and the tagline "Rules The World" has caught the attention of public figures such as Drake, Central Cee, Dave, Jorja Smith, and Stormzy, all of whom have been spotted wearing the brand.
It's been a week since their latest release, a collaborative effort with Nike that reimagines the classic Air Max 95. It was an immediate sell-out.
So what propelled this brand from a modest, university-based project to one of the most sought-after brands in the streetwear world?
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Exclusivity and community-first values
What sets Corteiz apart from its competitors is its exclusivity and community-first values.
Recognising that its youthful target demographic cannot always afford the latest designer clothing from top fashion houses, the brand has made accessing its website exclusive.
Don't believe me? Go ahead, give it a try for yourself. Just head over to their website and... uh oh, looks like you need a password.
In its early stages, the official Instagram page of Corteiz was also once kept private, further adding to the idea of the brand being a members-only community.
Unlike some of its competitors, such as Supreme and Palace, Corteiz's popularity isn't fuelled by reselling, and instead by word of mouth and social media. Although their sporadic drops are still very limited and highly sought-after, with items selling out within minutes of release, Corteiz actively discourages any form of resale market.
Innovative marketing strategies
While other brands rely on traditional advertising techniques, Corteiz has built its success on unique and unconventional guerrilla strategies that have helped them capture hype and allure in a crowded marketplace.
From pop-up car-boot sales in Soho to mega scavenger hunts, their clothing drops have gained a notorious reputation for causing havoc on the streets of London.
In January last year, Corteiz organised the 'BOLO Exchange' in a car park in West London, where hundreds of followers swapped jackets from big corporate brands like North Face, Moncler, and Supreme for Corteiz's new puffer jacket, 'Bolo.'
Within minutes of posting the location of the event on social media, hundreds of supports arrived for the chance to get their hands on puffer jacket.
After the event, Clint revealed that the jackets obtained from the exchange, worth £16,000 (€18,200), were donated to St. Lawrence's Larder, a charitable organisation committed to providing meals for the homeless.
It's since been described as “modern day performance art”.
99p cargo pants
Several months later, the brand released the '99p Cargos Drop' which caused further chaos online.
That's right, Corteiz sold their cargo pants, with a RRP price of £125 (€142), for just 99p.
Over 2,000 people attended the event in Shepherd's Bush Green, but only a few were able to purchase the coveted cargo pants, leaving many disappointed. Despite the frenzy, the event was yet another successful marketing ploy for Corteiz.
Most recently, the streetwear brand generated hype with its collaboration with Nike, specifically the Corteiz x Nike Air Max 95 Olive trainers.
The brand created a public giveaway challenge which took place on 25 February, with a very simple concept: hit the crossbar from the 18-yard box twice and win a pair of the unreleased shoes in your preferred size.
They even got French Real Madrid football star Eduardo Camavinga to promote the challenge in a video posted on social media.
The football pitch coordinates were dropped on the day, and hundreds of eager participants lined up for their chance to win. Corteiz also sweetened the deal by offering a cash prize of £1000 (€1,140) to anyone who hit the crossbar while wearing the coveted 95s.
With each drop, they continue to surprise and delight their dedicated fanbase, leaving us all wondering what wild and crazy idea they'll come up with next.
Who knows, maybe next time they'll hold a scavenger hunt in space or give away clothing via a hot air balloon ride.
Whatever it is, one thing is for sure - we can't wait to see what Corteiz has in store for us.