New year. New jawns. New partnerships. The first big streetwear news of 2017 arrived last week: Lil Yachty has been appointed a "creative designer" at Nautica.
We've gotta say: it's a partnership that makes a lot of sense. Nautica has always made clothes "inspired by the sea, designed in the city" (their own words), and Lil Yachty's nautical name and squad (the Sailing Team) work together just off the strength of their brand names.
However, the relationship goes deeper than nautical names and themes. Yachty has expressed his love and admiration for Nautica in the past, and they've even worked together before: on a vintage-inspired 7-piece capsule collection in 2016.
Nautica was clearly happy with how the capsule performed, as it was announced earlier this week that Yachty would be a "creative designer" for the brand in 2017 and beyond. This is a genius stroke of marketing for Nautica, and arguably the first real street culture power play of 2017.
Vintage and vintage-inspired looks are hot right now. Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein have both stormed back into street culture with their re-releases of classic 90's pieces, and as a brand that had a lot of clout in the 90's, it makes a lot of sense for Nautica to fall back on their heritage as well.
Signing Yachty to push that heritage vibe makes a lot of sense too. Sure, he wasn't even alive when it was originally popular, but the youth love him and the youth love vintage right now too. Nautica will be able to introduce themselves to a totally new audience through Yachty's mostly young fanbase.
Plus, as a "creative designer", Yachty won't have to do anything besides have an official input on Nautica heritage releases. The title is more honorary than anything else, but he'll likely be collecting a nice check off his association with his favorite brand, which is a big deal for anyone, let alone a 19-year old with no real design experience.
W's all around. Nautica gets a chance to recapture some of their past glory, and Yachty gets a big co-sign from the fashion world. When it comes to fashion, 2017's off to a damn good start.
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