David Chu, Contrary to F. Scott Fitzgerald, who wrote there are no second acts in American lives, there certainly is a second act in David Chu"s life as he reinvents his career as designer of luxury men"s wear. As all out successful as his first act was as founder of the billion dollar global brand, Nautica, his second act is possibly more fascinating. His good fortune was to walk away from corporate gigantism and re enter the world of the designer and entrepreneur.
Economics certainly haven"t influenced Chu"s return. He tried for nine days to relax into a leisured lifestyle, but nine days of golf proved too much. He knew he missed the pace of the fashion business and he missed the creative gratification. In that short time away, he learned a lot about himself and says, I realized I am passionate about design and wanted to do something I personally love. Chu flew to Italy to design and source his new collection, championing the idea of timeless style and focusing on an audience of people like himself.
Designer and entrepreneur, David Chu first rose to prominence in the eighties with the success of his lifestyle brand, Nautica. It was his interpretation of six sailing jackets, taking technical function and adding the elements that characterize the best of American sporty design that put Chu and Nautica on the fashion map.
From six jackets and his first customers, Barney"s, Bloomingdale"s and Saks Fifth Avenue, the collection quickly expanded into men"s sportswear housed in shops dedicated to Nautica product, image and lifestyle in leading department stores across the United States. In his visionary style, Chu extended the brand to include a complete lifestyle presentation for men, women, children and home here and in Europe, Latin America and Asia, making Nautica one of the first American brands to be truly global. When Nautica was acquired by Vanity Fair Corporation, its worldwide sales were in excess of $1 billion.
In August 2004 David Chu left Nautica and established a new company for a luxury men"s collection, the first ever under his own name. Today in the David Chu collection, he takes his vision to a new expression of taste, quality and style. It"s sophisticated, refined, yet always committed to modernizing tradition and emphasizing performance a Chu signature that has been his design philosophy ever since he founded Nautica. The collection launched in its own shop at Saks Fifth Avenue in September, 2005.
For fall 2006, Chu introduced LINCS, DC & Company an upscale collection of sportswear and outerwear inspired by Chu"s favorite sport for more casual dressing. LINCS premiered at The Designers" Collective in New York in January. 2006.
Adding to his creative responsibilities, Chu was named executive creative director at Tumi, the international brand of luxury travel, business and lifestyle accessories. He will oversee all aspects of design for Tumi"s men"s and women"s collection as well as advertising, public relations and store design.
Chu, a passionate traveler, has developed a keen insight into the needs of his fellow travelers. His synthesis of the classic and the modern, American and international influences come from his own life. Born in Taiwan, he came to New York in his teens , studied in New York and Connecticut high schools and set his mind on becoming an architect. At the Fashion Institute of Technology, where Chu went for summer courses, he was encouraged by his professors to study fashion design.
A graduate of FIT, Chu was named its STAR alumni in 1996. He was also named outstanding alumni of the year in 2005 by the American Association of Community Colleges. Other honors include: United Jewish Appeal Man of the Year 1998; Divine Design, Los Angeles Designer of the Year, 1999; U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Excellence Award, 2000.
The Asia Society honored Chu in May 2005 at its annual gala dinner as an Outstanding Asian American Entrepreneur.
Chu is a former trustee of The Asia Society, a trustee of The China Institute, a board member of the Committee of 100 and an executive committee member of the FIT Education Foundation for the Fashion Industry. He recently co chaired the benefit gala for the Asian Art Fair in 2005. He is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and C.E.O. (Chief Executive Officers Organization).
For Fall 2012 designers are inspired by a wide range of influences, from the elaborate details of brocade and metallic gold embellishments to the dynamic mix of military chic and power pantsuits. Colo