The likelihood that an American had heard of the fashion brand Nautica is high; the brand’s nautical-inspired wares are pretty standard gear for beach towns and have been since the ’80s. But now the label is joining up with a personality who, despite a similar nautical-themed name, might be new to their shoppers. Welcome, Lil Yachty.
After collaborating with the 19-year-old Atlanta rapper in 2016, Nautica has tapped Lil Yachty as one of its creative designers for 2017. What exactly is a creative designer, you may ask? Well, it sounds like a pared-down version of a creative director. Yachty will develop a capsule collection and appear in ads this year for the brand.
The partnership came about like most in fashion supposedly do: through genuine interest. Lil Yachty himself was a fan of the brand’s designs for years. In a release he even said, “Nautica is like a part of me. It’s for kids, sailors, grown men, and cool people. The designs — the old designs, the new designs, I think it’s dope. There’s not really much out there like Nautica.” And while that’s well and good, the success of his first capsule with Nautica likely spurred this bigger deal.
That partnership made Yachty the face of a seven-piece exclusive collaboration riffing on ’90s themes and the brand’s signature sailing aesthetic. Clearly the pair liked the results and are growing that relationship.
Yachty won’t be the only rapper exercising some creative power over a business. Outside of fashion, A$AP Rocky landed a creative director role at MTV with MTVLabs late last year. And though he’s not a rapper, Zayn has been taking a turn on the design side doing a capsule collection of shoes for Giuseppe Zanotti and a whole capsule collection of apparel for Versus Versace.
To kick off their new working relationship, Lil Yachty has curated a collection of some of his favorite Nautica pieces. We’re guessing his collection will likely use this one as a blueprint.