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David Chu, a graduate of FIT, launched Nautica in 1983 as a menswear brand attached to all things sailing. He channeled it into an empire, branching off into over 40 licensees covering everything from children's to home. In 2003, VF Corporation bought Nautica for a reported $586 million, but the buyout came at a price—David Chu left for Tumi in 2004, and since then, the brand has struggled to stay afloat. Mirian Lamberth signed on as creative director in September 2007 and was criticized for upping prices on traditional polos. Her attempt to take Nautica upscale failed, and she lasted only two seasons before getting the boot by new president Karen Murray, who also shuttered the womenswear line in April 2008 and ousted several other executives in a company shake-up to revive the line and return it to its roots. Chris Cox took over the creative-director role in October of 2008, with a directive to reanchor Nautica as a lifestyle megabrand.
- Designed By
- Chris Cox, 2008 - Present; Mirian Lamberth, 2007 - 2008; David Chu, 1983 - 2004
- Owned By
- VF Corporation
- http://www.nautica.com/home/index.jsp http://www.nauticawatches.com/