Corteiz taps into an industry that has lost touch with its origins in an effort to make money, according to Laura Leeb, director of the strategy consulting arm of PWC Strategy& and author of the company’s report. Streetwear: the new exclusivity report. Countercultural authenticity has been replaced by the commercial imperatives of a multibillion-dollar retail market for under-25s, she says.
The rise of second-hand chains like StockX, Grailed and Goat has also fueled a $36 billion resale industry where consumers can make money selling rare, limited-edition sneakers and other pieces. of collection. The market is expected to more than double to $77 billion in the next five years, according to 2021 data from Thredup. Streetwear has gone mainstream, says Leeb. “Many luxury brands are redefining themselves as streetwear brands – and existing players like Supreme have become massive due to acquisitions.”
It’s not Clint’s first brand. A predecessor of Corteiz was Cade, which he founded in 2015 with his friend Ade Sanusi when he was 19 years old. Both were part of Apex, a London-based collective of creative teenagers who bonded over self-expression and personal style while maintaining an IDGAF attitude. It is not known when the brand ceased to operate.
Corteiz has over 190,000 followers on Instagram and over 32,700 on Twitter. In January 2022, it was one of the most searched brands in the UK on Depop, with its joggers particularly popular. Fans of the brand included the late Virgil Abloh, founder of streetwear brand Off-White and artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear, who wore Corteiz’s “Rules The World” socks at the Met Gala in September 2021, as well as influential British musical artists such as Slowthai, Jorja Smith, KwolleM and Central Cee.
Connection with fans
The Corteiz fandom is spectacular, observers say. “I haven’t seen this in fashion for a long time,” says Cody Eastmond, who has worked on digital marketing campaigns at creative agency Science Magic with brands including Glossier and Versace. “Supreme had some of that – where people would sit outside and wait to come into the store. But many streetwear brands have matured and lost that locality.
Darnell Ferguson documents Corteiz’s drops on his Darnell Vlogs YouTube account, which has 58,000 subscribers, and the @dvrnsz Instagram account with over 19,000 subscribers. “I saw the hype… People were out of work to come and swap their jackets, not even guaranteed to have a coat,” he says. “I’ve never seen another brand do anything like what Corteiz does.”