Interview: Nautica Creative Director Chris Cox

IMG_1560.jpg picture by johnsimondaily

Creative Director and Designer Chris Cox at Nautica Fall 2009 Menswear Collection

We brought you the collection, now meet the man who designed it. Chris Cox, 41 studied at Parsons School of Design and is an veteran of Tommy Hilfiger, Victorinox, and Swiss Army. During the exclusive preview, Cox spoke with us about Fall 2009 Menswear Collection.

JSD: What inspired this collection?

Chris Cox: It’s based around naval military, mixed with performance. A performance that exude the Nautica spirit as a brand. We went more hardcore in detail; new directions in fabrication, taking sweaters and added a lot more weight, more strong pieces to make it a little more structured. Also, in tailoring we wanted to make things a little more soft. This collection is a blend of our Licensed Product categories, as well as our Sportswear Product categories. So we crossed mixed all of the looks, it’s really how guys wear it.

JSD: What can you tell us about the fabrics?

CC: In fall, the collection is a lot of cotton. It’s much more “buy now, wear now”. As we get into the holiday, we start mixing in more wool. In tailored apparel, we are using super 100s, super 120s, finer wool, and more wool blended in the sweaters. Our collection is mostly cotton and natural fiber based.

JSD: Where do you see fashion in the next five years?

CC: Fashion is a good question, but Nautica is a another one. For us the brand has such a great DNA. Our challenge is about how do we keep the brand and the DNA fresh every season without losing who we are. We are not the type of brand that could just all of a sudden pull a 180 and go another way. There has to be a really strong consistency and stay current with fabric, color, proportion, and details.

JSD: How do you feel about the economy and what it has done to the fashion industry?

CC: We all hope it will get better. We really price engineered every garment that we’re sewing. We are very realistic about who our customer is, and where it is being sold. In addition, we have put a ton of energy in working with our production team and partners to have the brand priced right.

JSD: What is the process of you creating a collection?

CC: Well right now I’m designing the Spring 2010 collection. I work with a small team to discuss color and concept. Generally we design a collection in about a 4 to 6 week period. The process start with the trend and color; where have we been, where we want to go, and what statement we want to make. Then we come up with a really big and bold statement.

JSD: What is one item every man should have for the fall season?

CC: I think it’s the new chunky sweater because it just feels right! It is really comfy and great details. It can be short collared or turleneck. The chunky sweater just has an substantial feeling.

IMG_1559.jpg picture by johnsimondaily

*Special thanks to Chris Cox and the Nautica team.

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