Where is the genteel man? Nautica's Spring 2011 presentation tried to bring him to you. The menswear collection showed casual, variations on soft blazers paired with simple knits and woven shirts. Faded plaids were key as were clean, neutral shorts and pants. The overall effect was the wardrobe of a relaxed, upscale weekender.
Swimwear had a different direction. The beach looks consisted of color blocks and sailing flag motifs. This is the only category where I saw the brand's nautical theme. I did not see any of the signature outerwear containing the mariner styling or trims of past seasons. Is this the sign of the brand's new direction?
What I can say is that there was attention paid to the details and the fit looked great. I think that the design team and technical designers are clearly underpaid... (Full disclosure, I was a former employee).
Why a new direction? One reason might be that the current Nautica fan is very hard to define. The day of the show, the men I observed wearing Nautica in the street included a food delivery man from Honduras and a retiree from Virginia. Sail on my friends.