Is Nautica A Luxury Brand? (5 Reasons Why)

An American apparel brand of Authentic Brands Group, Nautica was founded in 1983 by designer David Chu and originally focused on outerwear. It also produces a line of home goods, watches, and fragrances.

It is said that the brand is inspired and influenced to be a classic American sportswear brand. And many of its clothing products reflect that, such as preppy polo shirts, deck shoes, and madras shorts. However, the brand has also expanded its clothing offerings to include more modern and casual styles as well. 

Nautica has long been considered a preppy brand, but in recent years it has shifted its focus to appeal to a more luxury market. It’s aiming to penetrate the upper-class market by making its products available in high-end department stores, and by partnering with designer menswear labels like Engineered Garments and Todd Snyder

That being said, is Nautica considered now a luxury brand? Keep on reading to learn the answer.

Is Nautica A Luxury Brand?

Nautica is not a luxury brand.  Despite it take steps to up its game to be more recognized by the upper-class market, a majority of people still see it as a contemporary or mid-range brand. This is due to the fact that the brand is still new, and its products are not as high quality as luxury brands.

Here are the reasons why Nautica is not a luxury brand.

1. It Is A Young Brand

Nautica is a young brand, founded in 1983. In order for a brand to be considered a luxury, it needs to have a long and established history. Brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Hermes are all over 100 years old. Nautica simply doesn’t have the same level of prestige as these older brands.

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While it is true that there are young brands in the market that are already considered luxe, they possess criteria that Nautica doesn’t have. For instance, these young brands are often started by already-famous luxury fashion houses or designers. 

2. Nautica Is Not Exclusive

One of the key factors that make a brand luxurious is its exclusivity. And when it comes to this, Nautica falls short. The brand’s products are widely available and can be bought from many retailers. You can find Nautica products at mass-market stores like Macy’s, as well as at mid-range department stores like Nordstrom Rack.

This takes away the exclusivity like what many luxury brands offer which is to be sold in specialty or high-end boutiques that doesn’t mix with mid-range brands.

3. Nautica Is Affordable

Another factor that determines if a brand is luxurious is its price point. And when it comes to this, Nautica is definitely not a luxury brand. Its clothing is very affordable, with most pieces costing less than $300.

For reference, the most expensive items on Nautica are BFC Stainless Steel And Silicone Watch Box Set ($270) and Colorblock Tempasphere Puffer ($158), while a majority of Nautica products are priced at less than $100.

4. It Lacks Luxury Presence

Nautica does not have the same level of luxury presence as true luxury brands. For example, the vast majority of Nautica’s stores are located in malls across America. In contrast, most luxury brands have standalone boutiques that are located in high-end shopping districts.

Nautica also doesn’t sponsor any major fashion events like the Met Gala or Cannes Film Festival. Furthermore, the brand is not often seen on celebrities or socialites. But instead, it is a brand for the general public who looks for dresses and clothing at a more affordable price.

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5. The Manufacturing Process Is Not Entirely Luxurious

The final reason why Nautica is not a luxury brand is that the manufacturing process is not entirely top-tier. While some of Nautica’s clothing is made in America, a lot of it is also produced overseas in countries like Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Saipan, Thailand, India, and Turkey. In contrast, most luxury brands produce their clothing entirely in-house or in countries in Europe.

In addition, Nautica’s clothing is made with cheaper materials like polyester and nylon. In comparison, luxury brands use higher-quality materials like wool, cashmere, and leather.

Does Nautica Hold Value?

Nautica products don’t hold much value over time. The brand’s clothing is not made to last longer like luxury brands. Instead, it is made for the current season and trends. As a result, Nautica clothing often looks outdated after just a few years.

The prices of its products are already affordable in the first place, so the resale value is not high. In contrast, luxury brands have a higher resale value because of the quality of their clothing and the prestige associated with the brand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Nautica an ethical company?

In reality, Nautica is not that transparent when it comes to the sustainability of its products which is why it is not easy to conclude whether the company is ethical or not.

Who owns Nautica?

The company is owned by Authentic Brands Group, making Nautica a subsidiary brand since 2018 after acquiring from VF Corporation. ABG is an American company that owns and manages a portfolio of over 50 fashion, entertainment, and sports brands.