In 2017 Clint, (Corteiz’s founder) started the brand from his bedroom in 2017 with screen-printed crewnecks and t-shirts. They featured the now recognisable Alcatraz logo, which represents the core message behind the brand – breaking free from the norm and ruling your own world. Although living in a crowded scene, Corteiz is different to other streetwear empires. The drops are limited and highly competitive, with most of their garments selling out in minutes after release. And any kind of resale market is discouraged. On release days, the Corteiz website is the only place you can purchase from. This is one of the things that has created a tight community around the brand. Corteiz doesn’t rely on reselling to maintain their popularity.
The brand also has a strong visual identity with its bold logo and marketing – using nostalgic film photography. Collections often feature their trademark joggers in a variety of colours, distinctive balaclavas, bold graphics and powerful messages. Cortiez is constantly doing something to attract peoples attention, and even Off-White founder Virgil Abloh, before his untimely passing, said that Corteiz’s rise “ is inevitable” in his cover story for skate magazine Sneeze last year. And since its launch in 2017 the brand has been worn by celebrities such as Dave, Slowthai, Jorja Smith and many more influential people within the UK music scene.
The only way they advertised the brand was on social media, relying on word of mouth to attract people to their Instagram page. Then in August 2019, Corteiz drove its organic growth through the first public t-shirt giveaway. And since then they haven’t slowed down. Just last week the brand locked down London in their latest giveaway ‘The Bolo Exchange’.
Founder, Clint, pulled up in a white van with Bolo jackets, which he then swapped with hundreds of Corteiz supporters who had all come to the location after it was broadcast on socials. People swapped their The North Face, Supreme and Moncler jackets so that they could get a Bolo jacket. Clint later took to Twitter to let everyone know exactly where the £16,000 worth of swapped jackets from the ‘BOLO Exchange’ went to: the homeless, via London-based charity St. Lawrence’s Larder.
There is a huge buzz around Corteiz. The brand is different and unpredictable. Their marketing is exciting and the clothes in high demand. Cortiez will not be slowing down any time soon so keep looking out on their socials to see if you can get your hands on the latest drop.