|Founded||1969 (incorporated 1978)|
|Founder||Joseph "Joe" Nakash
Abraham "Avi" Naksah
Raphael "Ralph" Nakash
|Revenue||$94 million (1997 sales est.)|
Number of employees
Jordache Enterprises, Inc. is an American clothing company that manufactures (or contracts for the manufacture of) apparel including shirts, jeans, and outerwear. The brand is known for its designer jeans that were popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Jordache originated in 1969, when brothers Joe, Ralph, and Avi Nakash (Naccache) opened a store in New York City that sold brand-name jeans at a discount. Within a few years, their business had expanded to a four-store chain. In 1977, however, the brothers' largest store was looted and set ablaze during the New York City blackout of 1977. When they collected $120,000 on their insurance policy, they incorporated their business (in 1978) and entered the jeans manufacturing business. They had long been interested in the European denim market, where jeans were more body-conscious and fashion-forward.
The Nakashes' timing was right. At this moment, consumers' tastes in jeans were shifting from established brands like Levi's to designer jeans like Gloria Vanderbilt and Calvin Klein. Jordache jeans themselves, however, were barely distinguishable from other designer jeans on the market. To set their brand apart, the brothers plowed one quarter of their annual sales volume ($300,000 of their own money and $250,000 in loans) into an aggressive 1979 ad campaign. Jordache produced a television commercial starring an apparently topless woman in tight Jordache jeans riding a horse through the surf. The ad was rejected by all three major television networks, but independent New York stations aired it, and Jordache surged to popularity. One million dollars more was spent on advertising after this, including full-color ads in national magazines. One promotional gimmick that did not work out was the Jordache blimp, a poorly designed airship which crashed on October 8, 1980 at Lakehurst, New Jersey on its maiden flight, en route to a promotional gala 43 years after the Hindenburg airship crash and fire in the same city.
In the 1980s, the company expanded its reach with expansive licensing that generated up to $300 million/year in wholesale volume. In 1989, the company had 100 licensees, manufacturing products as varied as children's socks, women's outerwear, jewelry, dresses, luggage, and umbrellas.
In the 1990s, this strategy appeared to have backfired, and Jordache products slid in popularity. The company's jeans "lost their cachet, appealing mainly to inner-city youths and blue-collar workers and typically selling at discount stores." When Jordache designer diapers were manufactured by a licensee in 1994, they "seemed to symbolize Jordache's descent in the marketplace to mass-merchandise stores and discount outlets."
Although Jordache's popularity had declined in the late 1990s, it continues to manufacture jeans—among other clothing and brands. In 2004, Jordache Enterprises launched the premier Jordache Vintage line to commemorate its 35th anniversary.
Today, the company designs and manufactures a wide variety of denim, apparel and accessories, some distributed internationally. The brands owned by Jordache Enterprises include Jordache, Earl Jeans, KIKIT Jeans, Maurice Sasson, Fubu Ladies, Airport, Blue Star, and Gasoline. Jordache is also an official licensee of the U.S. Polo Assn. brand. Jordache Enterprises also manufactures private label denim for well-known companies, including Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi's, and Abercrombie & Fitch, among others.
Through the initial proceeds from the Jordache label, the Nakash brothers have expanded their interest into real estate, aviation, high-tech (cryptography), maritime ventures, and food. Jordache Enterprises has two separate boards—one comprising six Nakashes and an outside board with 10 nonfamily members. Each male member of the second generation is highly specialized and has a nominal responsibility. The Nakash women have no formal responsibilities.
In popular culture
In 1988, German noise band Einstürzende Neubauten recorded a jingle for Jordache (actually a brief reworking an older track called "Abfackeln!"). The jingle was never used by the company, but it is included on the compilation album Strategies Against Architecture II.
- "Jordache Enterprises, Inc." International Directory of Company Histories, vol. 23. Saint James Press, 1998.
- Topless Jeans Make the Scene - TIME
- Associated Press, "Blimp Crashes Near Zeppelin Crash Site", Anderson Independent, Anderson, South Carolina, Thursday, October 9, 1980, page 4A
- WireImage: Listings
- Jordache Enterprises
- Jordache Enterprises