David Chu (designer)

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David Chu
Born Chu Hsin-chi (朱欽騏)
1955 (age 59–60)
Alma mater Fashion Institute of Technology
Occupation Fashion designer
Known for Founder of Nautica

David Chu, born Chu Hsin-chi (Chinese: 朱欽騏; pinyin: Zhū Qīnqí) in 1955, is a Taiwanese American fashion designer best known as the founder of Nautica, a men's designer outerwear company.

Early life and education[edit]

Chu's family immigrated from Taiwan to the United States in the 1960s and opened a Chinese restaurant. He grew up in New York and Connecticut and originally planned to become an architect.[1] While taking a summer drawing class at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), a professor suggested that Chu try designing clothes after seeing his drawing skills.[2] Chu later graduated from FIT,[3] and was named its STAR alumni in 1996.[4]


Chu returned home to Taipei to start an export business with friends, but they lost all their money in one and a half years. He then returned to USA, working under a large company, he designed jackets, taking the inspiration from sailor's coats. Barneys and Bloomingdales had good sales for the designs and in 1983 Nautica was born. The company had sales of $700,000 in its first year and $2.5 million the following year.[1]

In 2003, Chu sold the company for $1 billion to VF Corporation. He made $100 million from the sale.[1] Retirement did not suit Chu. After a couple of weeks playing golf and traveling[citation needed], the designer jumped back into the fashion fray. Chu promptly purchased an 1846 townhouse in Manhattan's Flatiron district, gut-renovated the historic mansion and turned it into his design studio, showroom and offices.

In 2006, he created the exclusive David Chu Bespoke line, offering custom suits hand-made in Italy with fabrics from the world's finest mills.[5] The bespoke line is available in a richly-appointed atelier located in the penthouse of the "Townhouse".

Recently, he started another label, a designer sportswear collection called "LINCS by David Chu" that offers a modern take on tradition and the well-lived life.[4] Currently, LINCS can be found in select Lord & Taylor, The Bay, Dillard's, Nordstrom. The BAY Oakridge in Vancouver, and other specialty stores.[6]

In 2007, Chu was named executive creative director at upscale luggage and accessories maker Tumi, Inc.[7] As of fall 2008 he was released from this role.

In July 2009, Chu launched a strategic partnership with golf legend Jack Nicklaus to develop the Nicklaus brands worldwide under a unified creative direction.[8]

In November 2012, Chu bought luxury Danish brand Georg Jensen with Investcorp. He is currently the CEO and Chief Creative Officer.http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonydemarco/2013/03/08/david-chu-named-georg-jensen-ceo/

Personal life[edit]

Chu resides in New York City.


  1. ^ a b c Tim Smart (2005-09-25). "Taking a New Tack: Nautica founder David Chu embarks on a more upscale fashion voyage". U.S.News & World Report. 
  2. ^ Javier Mateo (2004). "David Chu for Nautica: Glamour in Simplicity". FashionWindows. 
  3. ^ Noted FIT Alumni. Fashion Institute of Technology. Accessed 3 January 2010.
  4. ^ a b "CFDA Member Profile: David Chu". Council of Fashion Designers of America. 
  5. ^ David Chu at Luxist.com
  6. ^ LINCS by David Chu: Retail Locations
  7. ^ Helen Walters (January 24, 2007). "Tumi's New Itinerary: With Nautica founder David Chu at the creative helm, the luggage maker eyes growth through a complementary market: women's accessories". Business Week. 
  8. ^ Jean Scheidnes (July 17, 2009). "David Chu and Jack Nicklaus Team Up". WWD.com Men's Wear News. 

External links[edit]