Everything You Need to Know About Corteiz
UK streetwear brand Corteiz (pronounced Core-taze) have been causing an absolute ruckus the past few weeks with their collaborative Nike Air Max 95 dropping in London, NYC, and Paris. The viral clips of crowds running up and down city streets may be new to some, but Corteiz have been doing this since its inception in 2017. So who is Corteiz, and how did they land a colab with Nike?
Who is Corteiz?
Founded by British-Nigerian entrepreneur Clint Ogbenna, the brand was born in his sister’s apartment in West London in 2017. It draws on Alcatraz Island as inspiration for its primary logo, which represents breaking out of societal norms to pursue your passions. While brands want to appeal to a larger audience as regionalism dies off, Corteiz are unapologetically London, with Clint calling on their community and word of mouth to promote local drops.
Exclusivity is the name of the game for Corteiz. The brand started with a private Instagram page that Clint curates personally, and as word of mouth grew, the followers came in droves – despite going against the grain of the usual approach to social media. With no professional marketing, all it took to was to get put on by someone already in the know.
Corteiz’s drops regularly consist of tees, hoodies, sweatpants, military-inspired fatigues, and balaclavas. Instead of consistently adding new releases to their website, the label seemingly drops product at a moment’s notice, using GPS coordinates on Instagram to hint at where the drop will take place and draw crowds in minutes.
‘Da Great Bolo Exchange’
One of Corteiz’s most notable drops was the ‘Great Bolo Exchange’ in January 2022. In an Instagram post, Corteiz stated they were giving away 50 puffer jackets for free – with a catch. A Corteiz puffer could be redeemed only if you were trading in a jacket from notable outerwear and streetwear brands like The North Face, Supreme, Moncler and Arc’teryx.
Londoners showed up in masses, swapping their puffers for Corteiz product stashed in a moving van. What did Clint do with the donated puffers? He supplied the jackets to a local community kitchen and food bank in London, giving back to the less fortunate in their community.
Corteiz x Nike Air Max 95
First teased on Instagram in January 2023, this three-pack of collaborative AM95s dropped in true Corteiz fashion. Clint was seen outside the Nike London store with the Corteiz logo projected on the store’s front alongside the Swoosh.
For the London drop, Corteiz ran a crossbar challenge, giving people a chance to win a pair of their collaborative AM95s in the ‘Gutta Green’ colourway. Dropping a video featuring a Joga Bonito TV-inspired crossbar challenge with Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden and Jorja Smith – a friend of the brand – Londoners flooded the coordinates.
A huge line formed for a chance to win a pair by hitting the crossbar from the penalty arc. The competition featured various incentives, and the first person to hit the crossbar scored a ball signed by Real Madrid midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, while the first to hit the crossbar wearing Air Max 95s won 1000 pounds.
While Corteiz centres around London, the brand has since made waves worldwide, and New York City was on deck for the second drop. Coordinates were dropped at the Nike billboard by Penn Station, which caused fans to haul down 34th street to a nearby Corteiz branded bodega to purchase the ‘Pink Beam’ colourway.
Paris was in the third slot as, once again, Clint and his team had fans causing scenes in the streets of the City of Lights. Coordinates pointed to a bus driving by Place de la République, where fans could purchase the ‘Aegean Storm’ colourway.
Time will tell what’s next for Corteiz. Disruption is a word thrown around way too much these days, but it might just be the best way to describe the brand as they continue to grow, especially with this latest collaboration. We’re excited to see what’s next for Clint and his crew.
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