Nautica Partners With Urban Necessities to Enhance Presence With Young People

Nautica continues to mine its Nineties heritage.

The brand, which was purchased by Authentic Brands Group in 2018, is collaborating with Jaysse Lopez of Urban Necessities on a capsule collection of reimagined heritage styles that will launch on the brand’s e-commerce sites starting Thursday.

Lopez is a pioneer of the sneaker resale market and operates a footwear and streetwear store at the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas along with an active e-commerce site.

Alexandra Taylor, senior vice president of marketing for ABG, said Steve McSween, Nautica’s long-time vice president of global design, met Lopez last fall and they quickly bonded over their appreciation for the brand’s vintage designs. “Jaysse grew up with Nautica and was inspired by the Nautica Jeans Co. and the trends of the Nineties,” Taylor said.

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A look from the Nautica x Urban Necessities collection. 

Color blocking and a bucket hat are part of the offering. 

A jacket sports graphics on the back. 

“The vibes of this collaboration are very true to a monumental era that made me who I am today,” Lopez said.

Mcsween, who has served in the lead design role at Nautica since 2014, began dabbling with some of the brand’s archival pieces as early as 2016 and in 2017, he retooled many of those items for the collection’s main line. Those items have been among the best-sellers for Nautica and also serve to attract a younger customer to the label. For several seasons the brand also had an association with Lil Yachty, who had created a capsule collection for Urban Outfitters. But that association ended two years ago.

Taylor said the latest collaboration with Lopez is intended to advance that journey. “Jaycee started with one pair of shoes and created an empire,” she said. “He’s worked with American Eagle and has been at the forefront of the sneaker reselling craze. His company is so inspired by the past and this partnership will bring new light to the brand and bring back many of the heritage moments.”

Nautica, which has global sales of more than $1.2 billion, is operated by Sparc Group, a partnership between ABG and Simon Property Group. Taylor said at the time of the acquisition of the brand and its “robust archive” from VF Corp. that much of the design and merchandising staff remained on board.

“The brand is very well established,” she said, adding that it creates product in 70 categories and sells in more than 65 countries. There are 76 domestic stores, 250 international stores and more than 1,000 shops globally.

She said the plan is continue to maintain the international business while heightening the e-commerce reach of Nautica in the U.S. Although it continues to have a large presence at Macy’s and other retailers here, like most other companies, the company has leaned more heavily on e-commerce since the pandemic. “Over the last several months, we’ve gotten more relevant in our own channels,” Taylor said.

Taylor said that as of now, the collaboration with Lopez is limited to this season, but the two are having talks about further opportunities later in 2021. She hinted that there will be other collaborations coming next year as well, but declined to disclose details.

But in addition to collaborations, its purpose-driven product offerings will continue to be a key focus for Nautica going forward, she said. That includes Oceana, an ocean conservation charity the brand has been working with for more than a decade, as well as its Sustainably Crafted collection of denim and other products.

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