NEW YORK – David Chu, chief executive of DC Design International and founder of Nautica, has been appointed executive creative director for Tumi Inc. with responsibility for oversight of design, merchandising, advertising, public relations and store design for the company’s men’s and women’s collections.
In a statement, Laurence Franklin, CEO of Tumi, said, “We are very excited to have David’s input and direction to enhance our positioning as a leading international lifestyle brand. David understands our heritage, our dedication to innovation and to great design. His experience in both the men’s and women’s lifestyle category brings to us a wealth of knowledge.”
Chu will continue to design the David Chu men’s collection as well as men’s sportswear under the LINCS by DC & Company brand.
Calling Tumi products “brilliantly designed, functional accessories,” Chu commented, “I’ve traveled with Tumi bags for almost 20 years and look forward to adding my modern sensibility and taste to future collections. For me, good design drives business and allows for new opportunities for growth.”
Chu founded Nautica as an outerwear brand in the 1980s and later merged it into State-O-Maine, which was renamed Nautica Enterprises in 1993, by which time the Nautica named had become firmly entrenched as a major lifestyle brand. Ten years later, Nautica was acquired by VF Corp.
Tumi was founded in 1975. Although best known for its brief cases and travel bags, the company has recently picked up the pace of its licensing activities. As reported on MRketplace.com, Tumi licensed Swank Inc. to manufacture and market men’s jewelry, belts, small leather goods and gift merchandise under the Tumi brand in the U.S. and Canada.
Franklin confirmed that other licensing negotiations are underway but declined to identify any of Tumi’s prospects.