Nautica vs Tommy Hilfiger: Side By Side Brand Comparison

The world of fashion is one of the biggest and busiest industries in the world, with a whopping estimate of $1.55 trillion as of 2021.

This exposits how much competitive the industry is, housing a lot of brands, corporations, and collections.

These apparel contributors compete for relevance and maximization of profit, from time to time with a long list of products finely made to represent their vision and cause.

The same is with the two brands which I will be putting on the scale in this article, the Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger brands. Both are undoubtedly relevant brands with their names printed in gold in the circle of the clothing industry.

I will look into a variety of things surrounding these two significant names and I hope you read on to explore their story and status.

Nautica vs Tommy Hilfiger

The Major Difference between Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger

The major difference between Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger is their choice of material and market value.

While the materials used in producing most nautical products, especially their sportswear are preshrunk, those of the Tommy Hilfiger brand barely pass through the process.

Another difference that is evident between these brands is their placement in the apparel market, and I discovered that Tommy Hilfiger has a more juicy spot than the Nautica brand.

Going down the racks of these two fashion giants, you will find spontaneous differences and seemingly clear disparity.

These differences are embedded in their origin, growth, production, and eventually their market value. But the ones I just mentioned here have more relevance.

Brief History of Nautica

Nautica has a history that dates back to 1983 after it was founded by creative designer David Chu22 and his partner.

The brand started quite strong and resilient, but the jinx of new startups soon caught up with them and they were bought.

Their new successor was State-O-Maine, a New York-based clothing company, which bought them for cash and stock in 1984. Fast-forward to 1994, when the State-O-Maine changed the brand’s name into their now grand moniker ‘Nautica’.

They were also responsible for selling them off to a big name in the industry VF Corporation in the early 2000s, which brought the brand into a much brighter scene in fashion.

In 2018, ABG (Authentic Brands Group LLC) completed the purchase of the Nautica on 30th April. Their new managers brought down the relevance of the brand and its market value by purchasing another brand Brooks Brothers, which now became their frontier brand.

The parent company further acted on the capacity to reduce the brand’s relevance by announcing its acquirement of Izod in 2021, a brand that offers almost the same products as Nautica.

These developments increased the brand’s change in quality and production from then, to the present and have placed them in the ranks of discount stores department.

Prior to this, the brand has actively brought into the market mainly sportswear and other clothing materials like sweatshirts, polo shirts, footwear, accessories, and even perfumes.

Nautica vs Tommy Hilfiger

Brief History of Tommy Hilfiger

Thomas Jacob Hilfiger founded the American-based company Tommy Hilfiger brand in 1985, after trying out other styling works and establishment.

The founder’s passion for the field of fashion design prompted him to establish the brand, which served premium products from its early stages.

However, the brand continued to survive and eventually went public in 1992, as they began distributing women’s clothes in 1996. Their first store was also birthed a year after in Beverly Hills.

The early 2000s saw as the brand was purchased by Apax Partners in 2006 and subsequently bought by Philip-Van Heusen (PVH Corp.) in 2010, which is also the owners of brands like Calvin Klein, Olga & Co., and Warner’s.

The sale made the company more formidable as it was clear that they were in good hands. I recall the brand’s inclusion in the sponsorship of many musical concerts and endorsement of artists across the globe, which was also part of their marketing strategy.

The Tommy Hilfiger brand has a chain of collections like their Hilfiger Denim and Tommy Hilfiger (which is their main line).

Other product lines include the Hilfiger collection for women and the Tommy Hilfiger Tailored, which cater for classic American menswear.

Comparison between Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger

I will be treating both the direct and indirect comparison between these two brands, in the subsequent texts of this article. The areas which will be my basis for weighing the Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger brands include:


The form of production and styling of these two brands weighs more in trying to compare them. Although they appear quite similar in their preppy style, these brands have their difference.

The Tommy Hilfiger brand fuses the American style of the 60s and 70s rock and roll, with the present times’ fashion innovation.

They have often regarded their style as a classic fashion of ‘preppy with a twist.’ On the other hand, the Nautica brand is more of a youngster style.

The Nautica brand style revolves around young people and probably older people who would like to appear vibrant. This explains their production of sportswear and very ‘preppy’ clothes.

Market Value

Just like I mentioned earlier in this article, the Nautica brand has a big place in discount departmental stores which suggests their affordable status on the market scale.

I actually like them for that because you will be getting their products, especially the sportswear without having to break into a bank.

For Tommy Hilfiger, it is a different case altogether because they are placed on the same rank as premium brands like Calvin Klein and Brooks Brothers.

This means that getting them at a lower price value is not common.

Fashion Items

Nautica brand offers a wide variety of items like T-shirts, shorts, polos, and even swim shorts for both men and women.

Their items also include accessories like watches. Fragrance and home items like beddings, and also children’s apparel.

This comparison basis is rather broad for the Tommy Hilfiger brand as it has a categorization of 4 product lines. Each line has its items, demography reference, and season.

These product lines include:

Nautica vs Tommy Hilfiger

  • Hilfiger Denim: specializes in jeans, footwear, bags, and other items. It equally caters to an age range of 18-30yrs.
  • Tommy Hilfiger: This is the main line of the brand, which serves both men’s and women’s clothes while covering customers within the range of 25-40. This line embodies the main creativity of the brand.
  • Hilfiger collection: The line has women’s wear and accessories as its specialty. This is a seasonal line that comes to the market during fashion openings like the New York Fashion Week. It targets young and gorgeous women between the ages of 25-40.

Nautica vs Tommy Hilfiger

  • Tommy Hilfiger Tailored: The last line on my list is the not-so-saturated Tommy Hilfiger line that produces men’s American styled-apparels. The type of menswear encompassed by this line includes buttoned-down shirts, suits, and even casual wear. This line has a thing for producing top luxury clothes with standard materials.


This is the case where the terms ‘high-end and low-end products come to play. While the former denotes luxury of any sort depending on factors of interest like a high price, trendy design, and premium quality, the latter says the opposite.

However, the Nautica brand is nowhere to be found on the books of luxury brands, because they do not fit into any of the descriptions of luxury which I made.

They are not exclusive and can be seen in virtually most stores with very affordable price tags (emphasis on ‘very’).

Nautica vs Tommy Hilfiger

Whereas, the Tommy Hilfiger brand owns a place as a luxury brand, not because of its quality, or diversity, but primarily due to its price and affluence.

The Tommy Hilfiger brand has a long list of products that cannot be easily paid for over the counter by an average earner. Its coalition with top artists and organizations adds to its status as a luxury brand.

The likes of Beyonce and Snoop Dogg were seen rocking apparel from Tommy Hilfiger, doesn’t it mean that you are on a celebrity lane if you’re seen wearing any of their original products? I guess it does.

Brand Popularity

Should this be debated? No! But it sometimes becomes a topic of deliberation for fashion enthusiasts like me. Well, of course, these two brands are quite known by a whole lot of people.

But I must give it to Tommy Hilfiger because they hold the record. Sincerely, I did not know a big deal about the Nautica brand until I started making my research about them.

Although they seem quite older than Hilfiger with a 2-year age difference, they do not match up with Hilfiger when it comes to matters of fame.

Unlike the Nautica brand, Tommy Hilfiger has been on the frontiers of power-packed shows and concerts in the world, as either organizer or sponsor. Hence, their popularity.


The company that runs Nautica which is ABG(Authentic Brands Group LLC), seems to be serving them a backseat in the last couple of years.

By signing and buying new brands into their franchise, they are destabilizing the efficiency of this brand. Although this did not disrupt their standard greatly, it lowered their responsiveness to the latest trend in fashion.

This presents them as a lagging brand among their contemporaries. Their current CEO is David Chu.

Differently, Tommy Hilfiger is managed by a company that understands the relevance of continuity and trend.

The Philip-Van Heusen (PVH Corp.) company places Tommy Hilfiger in the top spot, which adds to their outstanding performance in the production of high-end and trend-inspired products. Their current CEO is Martijn Hegman.


The working culture which exists between these two brands poses another basis on which they are to be weighed. The rating of the Nautica brand is very low and unappreciated, with workers lamenting the flaws of working for the company.

The data collected and released by a trusted analyst Comparably, suggests that Nautica has a D- rating and an overall score of 56/100.

The Happiness and Compensation scoreboard recorded the least number of votes, thereby confirming a flaw for the company on that part.

Comparably also reported for Tommy Hilfiger, as the company recorded more positive reviews and testimonies than Nautica.

This goes a long way to prove that the working culture of the Tommy Hilfiger company is a lot better. The score for Tommy Hilfiger is 73/100, while their rating is at B+.

Work Environment and Salaries

After a close study and analysis of reports from workers and associates, I have drawn a line between these two brands in terms of the working environment.

While the space at Nautica supports growth and advancement as a salesperson, working at Tommy Hilfiger operates more of a parallel pattern that does not accommodate such growth.

Plus, most workers have testified that working at Nautica is quite easy, but their pay is low.

On the other hand, Tommy Hilfiger offers a nice salary package that is better than that of Nautica which often pays $2 less than other companies.

Despite their nice salary gesture, the working environment of the company has been a matter of concern for years, with many workers claiming to be subjected to unhealthy working conditions, something which is known as a ‘Sweatshop’.

The company was even involved as defendants in a class-action lawsuit in the late 1990s, which was filed by their workers in Saipan citing the same issue of a bad working environment

I will conclude by saying that, Nautica has a more convenient working environment than Tommy Hilfiger.

Final Verdict

I know you are waiting for my final decision on these two brands, after I’ve taken you on a long ride, exploring the disparity and possibly common similarities existing between these two brands.

However, I will conclude by saying that both brands are good. But Tommy Hilfiger is a more dominant brand, not just for its name but also for its creativity and trend-inspired products.

While it is more trendy than Nautica, Nautica has its uniqueness in the aspect of producing items that resonate with a younger generation. It is not much of a luxury brand like Tommy Hilfiger but has its values.


And here we are, closing in on the comparison streak between two renowned American brands, that have impacted their portion in the world of fashion.

While Tommy Hilfiger evolved with the current trends swiftly, Nautica took a long way and is also trying to break into the market with trendy products.

Although the Nautica brand is in a bad managerial crisis, they still stand strong. Tommy Hilfiger on the other hand is doing well with production but lacks a good working environment and market cost.

Hope you got what you were looking for in this article? Do make wise choices from whatever you learned.


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