Corteiz, one of the most hyped brands of the moment, are well on their way to RTW. After breaking on to the scene last year with a series of scavenger hunt-drops in London as well as (very) limited online drops, the brand has quickly risen in the ranks to become one of the most sought-after streetwear brands of the moment.
As well as their signature ‘alcatraz’ logo, now synonymous with the elusive brand, their innovative and creative marketing techniques have helped to catalyse their ascension to the top of the game – if you don’t know, get to know. What tends to start with a cryptic tweet from the brand’s founder, Clint, (turn your Twitter notifications on) turns into a signal that the next drop is coming. But how and when is less predictable.
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After sending hundreds of young people running through the streets of Soho last year to try and cop a piece, Clint was back this weekend with ‘DA GREAT BOLO EXCHANGE’ – a different type of scavenger hunt. Sending out a tweet which just gave “3PM, LUNDUN” as its time and place, Corteiz revealed that hopeful attendees could swap an existing jacket for an unreleased BOLO – an all black or all grey puffer branded with a yellow embroidered logo.
News spread quickly, and Clint took to socials to reveal further details about what was in store for the next drop. Rules were simple: no fakes, no begs, swap the jacket off your back, and only 50 would be available. The brands Corteiz were accepting were ones defining London streetwear right now: Moncler, North Face, Canada Goose, Supreme, Stüssy, Arc’teryx and Palace. With 45 minutes to go, Clint dropped the nearest tube station, and with 30 to go, dropped the coordinates.
The whole affair sent hundreds of people running around White City, only to end up in Wormwood Scrubs car park – which makes sense, as the closest thing London has to Alcatraz. The team were there for 30 minutes, verifying puffers on the spot and giving out the 50 Corteiz BOLO jackets in exchange.
Whilst some online critics have clowned attendees for “downgrading” their fits in the exchange, others have pointed out its ingenuity: in one hour, Corteiz generated ridiculous levels of hype for their brand and BOLO, removed a handful of competitors’ jackets from the market, as well as continuing to ramp up their exclusive business model. It has since been revealed that the collected puffers will be donated to the homeless. While memories of high-excitement nights camping out in Soho for the next Supreme drop are quickly fading for longtime streetwear fans, Corteiz is engineering a renaissance in the scene, and their meteoric rise shows no signs of slowing down.