You remember Nautica, don't you? Of course you do. How could you forget those iconic yellow pique polo shirts with the tiny sailboat logos or those vivid windbreakers with maritime flags emblazoned all across the back? Well, for all you '90s kiddos out there, it looks like you may actually relive those weekend fishing trips with your dad in New England, because something tells me that the classic American sportswear brand is going to be experiencing something of a comeback in the forthcoming months.
Why's this, you ask? You can thank a certain red-haired rapper from Atlanta for Nautica's resurgence in the pop Insta-sphere. From the moment he starting gaining traction with his quirky Net-rap lullabies and booking modeling jobs for Kanye, Lil Yachty was stirring up considerable buzz in cyberspace for his kooky style and affinity for sailboat motifs. "I've never given a fuck what people thought about how I dress," the rapper told me backstage at Nautica's FW17 presentation in New York. "I've never cared about hype or any of that...I just like stuff that's colorful and old school, which is what Nautica is to me."
Yachty's addiction to thrifting from the label's vintage supply would ultimately result in him taking on the role as Creative Designer for an upcoming capsule collection, which is due out in the fall. The news, along with this '90s sportswear revival currently trending with fashionistas right now, has placed Nautica back on the fashion map in a big way. So much so, in fact, that the brand's presentation was met with considerable attendance from media and personalities all across the sartorial spectrum, from rappers and streetwear influencers to fashion bloggers and editors.
What I discovered upon viewing the clothing was just how au courant everything actually felt, which was interesting given that the entire collection was inspired by Nautica's extensive archive. "We looked back at some designs which were created over the last 30 years and gave them a more contemporary spin, but still tried to preserve their original spirit," Chief Creative Director Steve McSween told me.
Contemporary designers have been flooding the menswear circuit with bucket hats, nylon track pants, fur-lined puffer jackets, polar fleece zip-ups and pinstripe turtle necks (all of which were featured in Nautica's FW17 line) for a minute now, but will one of the most prominent (and forgotten about) originators of this now-throwback look actually pop-off with a more youthful audience? Perhaps, but I guess that depends on both Yachty's and '90s sportswear's cultural relevance, which seems to be at a steady incline at the moment.
Check out the collection in full above and read our recap of Raf Simons's NYC debut.
For more coverage of FW17 Fashion Week be sure to read our other reports on today’s hottest brands.