Joe, Ralph and Avi Nakash came to America from Israel in the 1960s with change in their pockets and an intuitive understanding of the American dream. They soon took jobs in the stock rooms and on the sales floors of Manhattan clothing stores, which turned out to be the first rung up the ladder to remarkable success. Their ticket: an entrepreneurial spirit, the willingness to take chances, and a sharp eye for opportunities.
What is now Jordache Enterprises – an international conglomerate of apparel, hotels, real estate, aviation and agriculture – originated in 1969, when the brothers opened their own clothing store specializing in brand-name jeans at a discount. Within a few years, the business expanded to four stores, but they also saw an opportunity on the manufacturing side, based on the booming designer market in Europe, where jeans were becoming the height of fashion.
“Through all the changes in our business, and at times when no banks were lending money to anyone, IDB always had our back. They understand what drives us.”Joe Nakash
CEO, Jordache Enterprises
The timing was perfect, as tastes in jeans in the U.S. shifted from old-line established brands to big high-end names. To distinguish themselves in the era of Studio 54, the brothers plowed a quarter of their annual sales volume and loans into a provocative TV ad campaign – which was at first rejected by the networks but aired by independent New York stations. Seemingly overnight, Jordache Jeans surged to popularity, and the networks came around too.
“We saw a vacuum in the market and filled it”
says Joe, the eldest brother, who not only produced the first commercials but also directed them without any previous experience.
“This was the height of mass-market brands, and we were going to be an important brand, providing a quality product at a quality price.” Over the years, the company expanded its reach through licensing, and today designs and manufactures a wide variety of denim, apparel and accessories for a number of leading brands, including private label for U.S. Polo Association.
And now members of the second generation have joined the business, taking responsibility for major business segments and functions.
More than just jeans. Today, the privately held conglomerate has international reach and expanded into other markets. Apparel, Hotel, Real Estate, Aviation, and Agriculture.
“We’ve always looked beyond apparel and beyond just tomorrow. The formula for our success, and our motivation, is simple: Never sell, only buy, and think in terms of generational growth. The ups and downs over 10 years are nothing.”Joe Nakash
CEO, Jordache Enterprises
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