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. Since the 2000s, Jordache has also diversified into real estate in the United States and other ventures in Israel.
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. in 1978, after they collected $1,200,000 from their insurance policy, they incorporated their business and started to manufacture. 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, consumer taste in jeans was shifting from established brands such as Levi's to designer jeans such as Gloria Vanderbilt and Calvin Klein. However, Jordache jeans themselves were barely distinguishable from other designer jeans on the market. To differentiate their brand, the brothers invested 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 surf. The ad was rejected by all three major US television networks, but independent New York stations aired it, and Jordache increased significantly in popularity. Later, an additional one million dollars was spent on advertising, including full-color ads in United States nationally circulated magazines. One promotional gimmick that did not work out was the Jordache blimp, a poorly designed airship that crashed on October 8, 1980 at Lakehurst, New Jersey on its maiden flight. It was en route to a promotional gala and crashed 43 years after the Hindenburg airship disaster ("Oh, the humanity!") in the same city.
In the 1980s, the company expanded its reach with expansive licensing that generated up to $300 million per year of wholesale income. 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 youth 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, aviation, and food. Among its more notable holdings besides the namesake brand are real estate holdings in New York City, Miami, Florida, hotels throughout Europe and Israel, part of the Strip House restaurant chain, management of the Port of Eilat following its privatization, Arkia, Israel's second largest airline, and MG Aviation, an aircraft leasing firm with aircraft currently under lease to Norwegian Air Shuttle and eventually Arkia. Jordache Enterprises has two separate boards—one comprising six Nakashes and an outside board with 10 non-family 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
Joe Nakash was referenced in the American Dad episode "Hot Water".
In The Simpsons episode "Girly Edition", Bart anchoring a segment for Kid's News mentions Jordache being on American flags hand-made by veterans.
In 1988, German noise band Einstürzende Neubauten recorded a jingle for Jordache (a short 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.
In June 2015 on an episode of The Real Housewives of New York City Carol Raziwell mentions Jordache jeans and being the fit model for them in the 1980s.
Fred Toucher, host of the "Toucher and Rich Show" on 98.5 The Sportshub in Boston, has taken to calling himself "The Jordache Kid".
The Descendents 1982 song 'I wanna be a bear' references the brands' jeans