Since its resurrection in the late 70s, the evolution of streetwear has never been linear. Though times, styles and trends are constantly changing and evolving, the one thing that has remained constant is the culture. To many participants, streetwear is not just about the clothes, or the latest “drip”, it is about the culture; a culture that is embedded in community, fluidity, purpose, non-conformity and exclusivity. A concept that many brands like CORTEIZ, are all too familiar with.
It’s been a little over a week since London-based street-wear brand Corteiz shut London down with its “Bolo Exchange”. Unlike generic marketing strategies like “drop culture;” for those who are unfamiliar, it’s an over-used strategy where brands release limited edition products in smaller quantities, Clint who is the founder and Creative Director of Corteiz, came up with a unique activation campaign and marketing strategy that set social media ablaze.
Da Great Bolo Exchange saw many followers and participants exchange their high-end branded North Face, Supreme, Moncler and Stussy jackets for an unreleased CRTZ Bolo Puffer Jacket. Despite being met with mixed responses and reactions the exchange resulted in 16 000 (pounds) worth of swapped jackets that were then gifted to the homeless via a London-based charity called the St. Lawrence’s Larder.
Founded in 2017, Corteiz has developed a unique and distinctive aesthetic that is supported by the notion of exclusivity, rebellion and individualism. Through social media, clever marketing strategies and hype culture, Corteiz has cultivated a die-hard fan base that will literally do anything (and I mean anything) just to get a free CRTZ T-shirt, even if that means climbing fences or punching each other up at pop-up events. With iterations that include their signature joggers, distinctive balaclavas, bold graphics and powerful messages, it makes sense that Corteiz has attracted a mass cult-like following.
Co-signed by the late Virgil Abloh, Corteiz continues to be at the forefront of streetwear and mainstream culture, pushing the boundaries of street-wear fashion and culture. Whether you love it or hate it, Corteiz has cemented itself and appears to be at the centre of streetwear fashion in the UK.