29 August 2019
35 years on the brands evolution through trends has seen it remain true to its American Sportswear heritage. Best known for its place as the leading, water-based lifestyle brand the evolution from 6 pieces of outerwear to street style via competitive sport is a story worth telling.
Established in New York, Nautica’s popularity grew in the luxury market through the 80s.
With David Chu’s vision to fuse function and fashion, Nautica quickly became a regular sight in New York’s upscale suburbs, the Hamptons, and sailing clubs on every shore in North America. Derived from Nautica’s original Spinnaker logo, the J. Class soon became synonymous with quality and prestige.
The brand’s confidence developed with each release and it wasn’t long before the bold logos - popular with young crowds in the 90s - moved the brand into the urban market. As the sportswear for streetwear trend continued its momentum through the 90’s Nautica’s iconic sub-label Nautica Competition was released, fronted by Glen Rice. With an extension of the classic nautical colour palette, graphic lines and technical features this range further immersed Nautica in urban culture.
Overtime as the brand has moved into the global market, Nautica’s connection to sport has grown. The long standing connection to competitive water sport has placed the brand as key sponsor of the Malibu Triathlon for over 15 years. Michael Kim, PGA Tour player, and Mikey February, South African surf tour competitor, have been embraced as brand ambassadors and Nautica has sponsored the Australian Sailing team.
A vintage favourite, original pieces of 90s Nautica are sought after styles worldwide; the brand’s urban and premium sportswear market history even capturing the imagination of American rapper Lil’ Yachty. Nautica has remained connected with its urban audience through Urban Outfitter collaborations and the 2017 Lil Yachty x Nautica capsule collection.
We are inspired by the world around us and energised by the water.