Hip hop has made an indelible mark on American culture. What started as an underground movement has evolved into the mainstream and with that evolution has grown its inseparable relationship with fashion. The fascination with the prep set in the urban environment created a new segment, with artists appropriating looks from the catalog of classic Americana into the gritty new sound bumping from the South Bronx to the world.
That was my first experience with Nautica, when consumption took a different form than today, when MTV put people on the map and you had to troll the airwaves for your new favorite song. What set Nautica apart was the bold use of color, graphic prints, big block font and the sea-faring functionality that lauded a different type of lifestyle, aspirational in a way that only the sensation of the crisp sea air and wind in the sails could communicate.
It was an experience wholly unfamiliar to most inner city youths but nonetheless attractive, because the point was to stand out, to be recognized, to make a statement. That was the ‘fly’, ‘fresh’, and ‘dope’ element that kids would spend painstaking time in the mirror before the school bell rang to emulate.
Brands like Nautica in that area spurred a new social economy, status symbols that elevated that wearer beyond their neighborhood. And though a lot has changed, stalwarts of that golden age like Nautica have revived their relevance with this new wave of artists.
Designs pull from what still remains vivid in my memory, with a mélange of black watch print in fleece and primary colors adorning the big logos…
Having pegged Lil Yachty as the face of this fall campaign speaks volumes not only to smart marketing but organic engagement, as a new set of consumers who weren’t present for the first landing of the brand in the genre now get direct exposure from one of today’s biggest upstarts.
Designs pull from what still remains vivid in my memory, with a mélange of black watch print in fleece and primary colors adorning the big logos in this hooded sweatshirt from the collection. The sporty accents keep functionality at the core. The silhouette remains slightly oversized, on trend with today’s updated interpretations even as recently as this runway season, while simultaneously hearkening back to when a roomier fit meant you were doing it right.
The collection features a wide array of tees, sweats, polos, bucket caps, and outerwear, a reminder of when my closet had way less tailoring. Reminisce with me. Head to Nautica.com to see the full range.