Nautica, American brand of casual and sporting prêt-à-porter, founded by David Chu in 1983, with a menswear collection inspired primarily by the military, athletic look.


The Taiwanese Chu, who has a notable talent for design, first studied architecture and planning. He debuted with six sporty and functional pieces that brought him immediate success. Subsequently the brand has expanded to include a vast line of accessories and a perfume.

Brand expansion

In 1997, Chu created the first collection of swimming costumes and clothing for women, which was very well received. As a consequence, he extended his work to include household furnishings and children’s wear. The brand, whose logo is a boat with its sails blown by the wind, has 100 shops around the world. Nautica Jeans Company and a new fragrance, Latitude Longitude, were launched to coincide with the new millennium.
The New York store opened on Rockefeller Plaza.



Nautica took control of Earl Jeans Inc., for 45 million dollars. The company already owned the brands John Varvatos, E. Magrath and Byron Nelson. Acquisition led to the launch in October of a line of leather belts, military and desert boots, and clogs.
2002 closed with a tiny increase in net sales from 692 million dollars to almost 694 millions. Warnaco Group became the new license holder of Nautica Apparel, the swimwear department.

Swimwear and sportswear’s luck

Presented in July 2003, the new women’s and children’s beachwear collection is entirely produced, distributed and commercialized by the swimwear giant.
David Chu celebrated 20 years of the seaside collection with a runway show in Milan.

Also in 2003 the brand is acquired by the US holding VF Corporation, specialized in outwear and sportswear and owner of brands such as Wrangler, Lee, Eastpak. The objective of the group is to redirect the consumers of the medium-high range towards the brand, increasing prices and giving the collections a halo of greater quality and luxury, for example with a new men’s line, which parades at the New York Fashion Week.

The job of Mirian Lamberth, Nautica’s new creative director after his experience at Tommy Hilfiger, is to give the brand’s look of classic polo shirts and casual pants a more elegant look that will appeal to higher segments of consumers.

Lil Yachty collection

After becoming creative designer of the brand, in 2017 American rapper Lil Yachty collaborates with Nautica for a limited edition collection. Bright primary colors and vintage cuts inspired by the brand’s first collections are the hallmarks of this collaboration.

Yoy may also like: