Black-owned clothing brand Corteiz is taking over the Youth Culture of London. MA Luxury Brand Strategy & Business student, Kevin De Silva – takes a deep dive into the success of Corteiz and their innovative marketing strategies.
Corteiz was been proven to be one of the hottest streetwear brands in 2022 with public figures such as Central Cee (British rapper), Dave (British rapper), Jorja Smith (Singer-songwriter) and Stormzy (British rapper) all wearing the brand.
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How It Started
University student Clint launched his clothing brand Corteiz from his bedroom in West London. The logo features Alcatraz Island, a small island in San Francisco Bay, 1.25 miles offshore from San Francisco. It is believed the brand took historic references from Hernán Cortés, who was a Spanish conqueror best remembered for conquering the Aztec Empire in 1521 and claiming Mexico for Spain. This explains the “Rules The World” tagline that features on Corteiz’s clothing. Clint takes massive inspiration from footballers (old to current) where he commonly reposts them on his Instagram.
The Clint Approach
Corteiz has had stiff competition in the streetwear category, overpowering renowned brands such as Supreme, Stussy and Palace. The appeal of his brand is its exclusivity. Corteiz has revolutionised its brand by recognising that the majority of their youthful target demographic don’t have the means to afford the latest designer clothing by top fashion houses. Therefore, to access Corteiz’s website consumers must need to find a password to access these drops. Prices are affordable, and the exclusivity of the brand is generated through word of mouth – an innovative form of marketing.
Corteiz’s official Instagram account page is kept private, generating a members only community to his brand. His Instagram is the prime location to be kept up to date with latest drops, passwords, and events. The clothes don’t look like they’re being modelled, they’re being worn – capturing the lifestyle of the brand.
Corteiz is famous for sharing consumers’ pictures of them wearing the brand – part of their marketing is done through their audience. Most notably, Corteiz strongly does not stand for the idea of ‘reselling’. They even go out of their way to cancel bulk orders made and actively name and shame reselling platforms on their Instagram. All with the intentionto maintain the exclusivity of the brand.
Corteiz’s Creative Marketing Strategies:
The Great Bolo Exchange took over mainstream media, consumers had the chance to trade in their puffer jackets from big brands such as North Face, Nike, and Moncler in return for a Corteiz BOLO puffer jacket. Social media was bombarded with the Gen Z-ers going wild for the drop, hundreds of people turned up to give up their own puffer jackets in hopes to obtain a Corteiz one. Some people even played ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ to decide who would take home the remaining pieces. The best part was that the remaining traded in jackets combined with a total cost of £16,000, all in which was donated to the homeless. Doing what they can to create change. YouTube vlogger ‘Darnell Vlogs’ vlogs the event.
‘99p’ Cargos Drop
Last October, the ‘99p’ Cargos Drop by Corteiz swarmed social media. Instagram followers of Corteiz were blessed with an Instagram story that had the coordinates to a location in Shepherd’s Bush Green. This caused chaos and havoc as hundreds of young people rushed to the location in hopes of being offered a ticket to purchase Corteiz’s hyped cargo pants, for just 99p with a RRP price of £125. This is just another use of creative marketing used by Corteiz, the main rule was “You Must Bring 99p Exactly, There Will Be No Change”. More than 2000 people had to battle for tickets and the majority of people were left disappointed for not obtaining the cargos.
Is Corteiz worth the hype?
It is undeniable that Corteiz has taken over the UK hype culture scene with its creative, genius marketing tactics. From creating scavenger hunts across London to giving back to charity, Corteiz has changed the game for streetwear brands. Looking back at brands such as Supreme, we see the typical long queues forming outside their stores to access new drops, this is no longer the case for Corteiz. Introducing innovative new marketing strategies is key to creating a ‘hype’ and ‘buzz’ around your brand and increasing social media presence. Undoubtedly Corteiz will be levelling up this year and as consumers we will be more and more surprised with their future, unpredictable marketing strategies.
By: Kevin De Silva – MA Luxury Brand Strategy & Business