who are corteiz

Apparel - August 23, 2022

Who Are Corteiz? The West London Brand Taking Over the World of Streetwear

Corteiz’ meteoric rise to one of the most talked-about names in UK streetwear has been nothing short of mesmerising, even more so given the breakneck speed at which it has played out.

Corteiz’ meteoric rise to one of the most talked-about names in UK streetwear has been nothing short of mesmerising, even more so given the breakneck speed at which it has played out.

Also recognised as CRTZ, little to nothing has ever really been revealed about the West London brand’s creator since its inception in 2017, merely that he goes by Clint and that a couple of years earlier he and a friend had dreamt up another label, Cade on the Map. While Cade did manage to gain some traction in its home city, Corteiz has proved to be a different animal entirely.

A brand that despite its overwhelming new notoriety, has managed to maintain a sizable element of mystery — no doubt a major factor in that immense popularity — Corteiz’ story so far is as fascinating as it is illusive. 

Marketing? Who needs it…

That means the team have had to rely on other avenues when it comes to growing their reputation and generating excitement around new releases. 

Even when everything you put out is seriously premium quality, which is certainly the case with Corteiz, basing your marketing plan near enough entirely on word-of-mouth is a risky way to approach any business, particularly a new one in a market this saturated. However, by stripping street fashion back to its core roots, Corteiz has managed to build this hyper-engaged, dedicated community consistently baying for the label’s next big drop. 

 

Da Great Bolo Exchange

“All the people who’ve had their norfy for 3 years+ & its been ran tru, battered and bruised. Tomorrow is your time to redeem it for something that will keep you warmer, satisfied & drippier. 50 Bolo’s only. Safe.”

Image via newwavemagazine.com

Those were the instructions relayed in a tweet back in January. Along with it was a set of coordinates where anyone could turn up and swap out an old puffer coat for a super-limited new Corteiz Bolo jacket.

What followed were swathes of people, some of whom had skipped work for the day just to chance their luck, racing one another through the capital, puffers from the likes of North Face, Stussy and Supreme underarm in an attempt to bag themselves this new drop. 

While Da Great Bolo Exchange was no doubt the highest-profile event of its kind to date for the brand, it’s the sort of tactic that’s been employed fairly regularly by Corteiz. The first instance came in August 2019, a t-shirt giveaway that led to around 50 people piling through Soho, then again last September, where fans were invited to swap their travel cards for tees — all of this only adding to their mould-breaking attitude towards operating a modern streetwear label. 

It was later revealed that Da Great Bolo Exchange came with an admirable, charitable twist. Clint announced three days later that all the swapped jackets were donated to St Laurence’s Larder — a London-based organisation providing meals for the homeless and those in need. 

 

Celebrity endorsements

At various points in the journey, Corteiz has managed to attract a number of high-profile fans, something which has certainly done no harm to their rapid growth. In the video for Dave’s recent single Starlight the rapper appears decked out in Corteiz gear, with Clint himself even making a surprise appearance in the clip. 

 

Meanwhile, when headlining Reading Festival last year, Stormzy took to the stage in his own Corteiz tee, spotlighting the brand in one of the biggest slots in world music.

Slowthai, Jorja Smith, KwolleM and Central Cee have all been snapped donning the brand too, as has Real Madrid starlet Eduardo Camavinga — the French midfielder who is often touted as one of the most fashionable figures in the footballing world and who recently took to the runway for Balenciaga.

The biggest endorsement, though, came from the late Virgil Abloh. The Off-White founder and Louis Vuitton artistic director appeared at the September 2021 Met Gala in Corteiz’ ‘Rules The World’ socks, and is said to have gifted Clint a one-of-a-kind Louis jacket before his untimely passing. Proof that this label is far more than just another hype brand, and that its impact, and message, was being felt far beyond just London. 

Corteiz 4Starz Alcatraz Hoodie Black

 

The aesthetics 

Corteiz’ anti-conformity, anti-establishment ethos is summarised pretty well in the increasingly-iconic Alcatraz logo that has featured prominently on just about anything they’ve released to date. 

Collections tend to tick all the boxes you’d want from a streetwear drop — bold graphic tees and comfy hoodies stamped with the Alcatraz illustration both featuring regularly. It’s actually their joggers that have proved particularly popularity though, as have the Corteiz balaclavas, items that have quickly risen to grailed status among fans. 

Corteiz Guerillaz 2022* Cargo Shorts Black

 

Where can I buy Corteiz? 

Unsurprisingly, the limited numbers Corteiz’ collections come in, paired with the constantly growing demand, bagging any item can be difficult. 

Even on drop days, the website is password protected, and only a few who have submitted their email on the placeholder landing page will be sent the information needed to get in and purchase just before the store opens. 

If you can’t wait to get your hands on a piece of Corteiz apparel, StockX is now stocking an array of authentic items from the West London label.