Jordache Is A Story Of Reinvention
If there is a poster story for the American dream, the family that built Jordache Enterprises, the Nakashes, would likely be prime candidates. Founded by a Jewish family of Syrian origin, the business began as Jordache Jeans decades ago. Through catchy and celebrity-laden T.V. campaigns, the brand gained immense popularity throughout the ’70s and ’80s. With the jeans label waning decades ago, the company has transformed into a multinational conglomerate with broad and diverse business interests. The portfolio includes brands in the food, hospitality, and travel categories, both stateside and internationally. Of particular note are Jordaches’ focus and personal pride in their Israeli brands and the impressive development and associated growth they are driving in the country.
The Pivot From Jeans To A Diversified Conglomerate
It is quite the feat to transition from a fashion-forward jeans brand to a uniquely diversified enterprise with broad-ranging interests. After moving downmarket and seeing the Jordache brand taking a significant dip, Jordache needed to morph into more than just jeans. Through profits from Jordache jeans, the family pivoted into other business lines strategically and diversified and diffused risk in the process.
Four Core Focus Areas & Three Geographies
Jordache groups its holdings into four core categories. They are fashion, real estate, aviation/maritime, and agriculture/industry. While from afar, these are seemingly disjointed and non-synergistic business lines, upon closer look, there are common themes across much of the holdings in the portfolio. Specifically, the assets focus on three core geographies, New York, South Florida, and Israel, and potentially harken to the Nakash family’s personal affinities.
The particular focus on holdings in the N.Y. metro speaks to the hallmark brand’s founding place. After all, the patriarch of the family, Joe Nakash, moved to Brooklyn, NY, the largest community for Syrian Jews who fled Syria. South Florida is a popular vacation spot for Sephardic and Jews in general. With Israel being the Jewish people’s spiritual heartbeat, in addition to its dynamic economy, investment in both of these locales is of no surprise.
Jordache’s Israel Presence
Interests in Israel under the Jordache Enterprises umbrella include Arkia, a regional airline, and several hotel properties. Hotels include various Plaza Orchid branded properties, including Tel Aviv and Eilat, and the Setai brand, which has locations in Tel Aviv and the Galilee.
Thank you, Shaul Nakash. Nice to come to what is possibly the nicest hotel I’ve ever been to, definitely the nicest in this country, and have the meat waiting for me and flowing like water. You’re a legend, dude. pic.twitter.com/h0FR3DnThY
— Hillel Fuld (@HilzFuld) June 27, 2019
Besides travel and hospitality offerings in Israel, Jordache has interests in manufacturing, shipping, and industry. They own olive groves and an associated olive oil brand called Halutza, as well as a lease to operate the Port of Eilat.
Holdings In The States
The majority of holdings under the Jordache umbrella are in New York and South Florida, but there has been a market expansion into other states over the last few years, such as on the West Coast. They own various commercial real estate in numerous states, including Class A properties on 5th Avenue, Union Square, among others in NYC. Novelty properties such as Casa Casuarina, also known as the Versace Mansion, are under ownership too.
The company is also still in the clothing and manufacturing business, which harkens back to its bread and butter. The Jordache jeans brand was revived and is now sold mostly via a deal with Walmart.
A Masterclass On Diversification & Achieving The American Dream
Looking at the refugee beginnings of the Nakash family and how they managed to build a legendary fashion brand from nothing is sure to inspire anyone passionate about business. Their ability to shift the success of a singular asset into a massively diversified and more risk resistant international portfolio is a masterclass that can be a case study for business schools in years to come. None of this was by happenstance though; both the brand’s founding and the subsequent shift was intentional and based on astute business acumen. As Joe Nakash, the family’s patriarch, stated, “We knew to spread the risk among a wide variety of products.”
So while it is possible that achieving the American dream is perhaps more challenging, as is a common sentiment right now, we believe that there are valuable lessons in the Jordache Enterprises success story for anyone looking to live the dream. The themes are constant throughout – perseverance, reinvention, and diversification.