Southern Tide

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Southern Tide
Founded 2006
Founder Allen Stephenson
Headquarters Greenville, South Carolina, United States
Number of locations
Over 850 retailers
Products Men's and Women's Apparel and Accessories
Parent Oxford Industries

Southern Tide is an American apparel company founded in 2006 in Greenville, South Carolina, by Allen Stephenson. Southern Tide manufactures and markets classically styled clothing, footwear, and accessories for men and women. The brand is owned by Atlanta-based Oxford Industries. One of the company's signature lines is their Skipjack Polo Shirt.


According to Stephenson, the inspiration for Southern Tide came about during college, while studying abroad in Italy. The clean lines and craftsmanship of Italian architecture, automobiles, and fashion stuck with Stephenson upon his return to the U.S. During his senior year at The University of South Carolina, he presented his concept for Southern Tide for a speech class, complete with sketches, his plan to work with stores, and his vision for a high-quality classic clothing company. Following his presentation, Stephenson remembers his professor encouraging him to pursue his idea, asking, "What are you doing sitting in my business introductory speech class?". That night, he packed up his dorm room and drove home to Greenville, South Carolina. After dropping out of college, he spent months researching the construction of polo shirts from around the world. The finished product became the Southern Tide Skipjack Polo, identified by the company's embroidered Skipjack emblem on the chest.[1][2]


Southern Tide specializes in apparel and accessories that are built with classic, authentic styling and attention to detail. This includes polo shirts, hats, sport shirts, shorts, pants, denim, sweaters, neckwear, outerwear, footwear, and other accessories. In 2013, the brand expanded its women’s collection to include tops, chino shorts, lounge shorts, and sandals. Southern Tide has also produced collaborative products through partnerships with WestPoint Home, YETI Coolers, Smathers and Branson, and Williams Knife Co..


Available in a wide range of school colors, the original polo shirts quickly built a following among college students at tailgate events across the Southeast. In 2008, the company launched its College Ambassador Program, an experiential marketing campaign at a handful of schools throughout the region. The program introduced college students to the company while providing the student ambassadors with real world experience and the opportunity to learn from a growing apparel company.[3] Since 2008, the program has expanded to new college campuses each year, and today features 385 ambassadors at more than 300 college campuses throughout the United States. The ambassador program conducts interviews twice a year for the fall and spring semester. However, the company requires that you are at least in your second semester standing at college before considering to apply.[4] In 2011, the brand launched its Collegiate line of officially licensed NCAA polos, caps, and tee shirts from 96 American colleges and universities.


The company's rapid growth has been recognized by several leading business publications. In 2011, Forbes Magazine recognized Southern Tide in its annual list of “Americas Most Promising Companies”, rating the firm at #27.[5] Also that same year, the company was ranked at #73 overall on the Inc. 500 list of “The Fastest Growing American Companies”. The magazine further designated Southern Tide to be the 6th fastest growing company in the “products and services” category as well as the fastest growing apparel company.[6] That same year, Southern Tide was also named the second fastest growing company in the state of South Carolina by the Capital Corporation.[7] In 2010, Southern Tide received the Customer Service Award at New York Men's Apparel Market.[8]


Until March 2015, Southern Tide did not have retail stores, operating through specialty retail partners as well as online. On March 27, 2015, Southern Tide launched their first signature store in Freshfields Village, located on Kiawah Island, SC.[9] Currently, Southern Tide is available at over 850 retail partners in 42 states, Bermuda, and the Virgin Islands.


  1. ^ Nalepa, Robin Cowie (November 8, 2007). "With his Southern Tide label, upstart clothing designer wants to take on the big boys". The Herald. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Our Story "Southern Tide - Our Story" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Obee, Katie (22 September 2011). "Advertising Pioneers". The Odyssey. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "America's Most Promising Companies". Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Southern Tide - Greenville, SC". Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "25 Fastest Growing Companies - The Capital Corp". Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "Southern Tide Receives 2010 Customer Service Award". Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Southern Tide Retrieved May 31, 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

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