Style » Fashion

Nautica Makes a Splash at New York Fashion Week

by Matthew Wexler
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Feb 12, 2013

Nautica celebrates 30 years in the fashion industry, and while you're most likely familiar with the company's iconic red, white and blue celebration of Americana, you may not realize that Taiwanese-American immigrant David Chu founded the company in 1983 with a simple collection of six men's outerwear pieces.

Now spanning 75 countries and 177 stores worldwide, VF Corporation acquired Nautica in 1983 for a reported $585.6 million. By the looks of the Men's Fall 2013 Black Sail Collection at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week, the brand continues to make a splash.

The Black Sail Collection

Sir Ernest Shackleton, the famous Irish explorer who ventured into the Antarctic during the early 20th century, serves as inspiration for the Black Sail Collection. There is an odd synchronicity between Shackleton’s fleeting entrepreneurial spirit and that of Chu, who stumbled through several business ventures (including losing all of his investments in a failed Taiwanese export company) prior to launching Nautica.

Current Vice President (Design & Creative) Chris Cox may not have intentionally made this connection, but the riff works - combining novelty yarns, colored shearlings and fisherman cables to create a modern expression of maritime adventure.

The Black Sail collection spans active wear, utility pants and thermal wear along with a few unusual touches such as an asymmetrical bomber jacket and black crackled shearling toggle coat. Less nautical and more apr├Ęs ski, the pieces stretch the boundaries of the collection in unexpected but successful ways.

It will be interesting to see how the Black Sail Collection translates to the racks next fall as a new generation discovers Nautica’s reimagined look.

The 30th Anniversary Newport Collection

The 30th anniversary Newport collection will showcase classic Nautica style in white and blue with red accents. Capitalizing on 21st century technology, features include emergency lighting embedded in hood jackets, wind block-lined cardigans and audio enhanced hoodies with headphone draw cords.

"We are thrilled to celebrate this very special milestone, " said Karen Murray, President of Nautica. "The 30th anniversary Newport collection reflects the true competitive spirit of Nautica as well as its authentic design and high quality craftsmanship."

The Newport Collection is available at Macy’s Lord & Taylor, Belk, or online at

Matthew Wexler is EDGE's National Style and Travel Editor. More of his writing can be found at Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.


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