Nautica Clothing History

by Sarah W. Caron; Updated September 26, 2017
Nautica Clothing History

The Nautica clothing company manufactures clothing for men, women and children, as well as home accessories and furniture. Founded as a menswear company by a Taiwanese immigrant, Nautica's history spans more than two decades. The clothing was designed to be used by world travelers. The line includes casual and business attire, as well as bathing suits, with a nautical feel to all of it. The company now is owned by a major corporation.

Founding

The Nautica brand was created in 1983 by David Chu. Chu had immigrated to the United States from Taiwan with his family in the 1960s. He grew up on the East Coast, and later returned to Taipei, Taiwan, for a spell. Chu studied architecture at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, where he also took a design class. The Nautica company got off to a fast start, growing exponentially in its first few years of operation. In 2003, Chu sold Nautica to VF Corporation. He remained on as CEO for about a year.

The Name

Nautica was founded after Chu began successfully selling coats designed to look like sailor's coats to upscale stores around New York. The name is an adaptation of "nauticus," which is the Latin term for ship. The logo is a spinnaker, a type of sail.

Products

VF Corporation Logo - Courtesy of VF Corporation

Nautica began as a menswear company. Today the company manufactures clothing for men, women and children. Additionally, the company sells accessories such as belts, watches and bags. Nautica has a home line of linens and towels, as well. In July 2009, the company inked a deal with Starmount Home Furnishings to produce furniture under the Nautica name.

Stores

Nautica has more than 170 stores around the globe. The products are also sold in department stores and other locations in more than 64 countries. Additionally, Nautica products can be purchased online at Nautica.com.

About Nautica's Parent Company

Nautica is owned by a powerhouse parent company called VF Corporation. In addition to the Nautica brand, VF owns 7 for All Mankind, Lee, The North Face, Kipling, Lucy, Vans, Ella Moss and Splendid.

About the Author

Sarah Caron is a journalist from Connecticut who has been writing for print and online for more than 12 years. She is a regular contributor to SheKnows.com, iVillage.com, Betty Crocker, the New Haven Register newspaper and other publications. She received her bachelor's degree in political science from Barnard College.

Photo Credits

  • Image: Nautica logo - VF Corporation
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