Following is an interview with local clothing line creator Jordan Mackey, who, along with designer Bryce Shepard, has launched a brand called Cointel. According to Jordan, “Cointel refers to Cointelpro – back in the 1960s the FBI Infiltrated the Civil Rights Movement by conducting covert illegal projects. Each clothing piece was designed to tell a story, such as the Jim Crow laws jacket.”
Where was Cointel started?
Upstate NY brand was founded in Buffalo, NY. Elmwood Village.
Was this something that was brewing for some time? Or was it like a flash in the middle of the night?
As Bryce would say, an overnight phenomenon… haha!
What are your inspirations?
Our fashion inspirations consist of anything edgy, urban, and grunge with a mix of high fashion.
Fashion inspirations for Bryce are Virgil Abloh for Off-White and Ronnie Fieg for Kith.
My fashion inspirations are Virgil for Off-White, but also Michael Costello, along with anything Vfilez.
Is the line about female empowerment, youth empowerment or empowerment in general?
The brand is to empower today’s youth, my generation. The brand is to visualize the youth. When it comes to my creative direction I automatically think, what is the reflection of my reality?
Is there another brand that you can think of that does this sort of marketing of throwback political garments?
I was very pleased to see all the brands at NYFW that made statements regarding our nation, present day. Such as Gypsy Sport.
Social media has become such a tremendous platform today, that we sell our products online as well locally in Buffalo.
What are some of the best sellers?
The best sellers are the jackets – each coat described a different event in history.
The best answer for who is buying, is the youth.
What’s next for Cointel?
Cointel and myself were recently just featured in Buffalo Black Book’s winter edition. We have a few fashions shows upcoming for this spring, here at Buffalo State and at some HBCU’s down south. Cointel’s spring collection will debut this April 2017. What’s next for Fall 2017-Spring 2018 is to be featured at NYFW.