NEW YORK — David Chu Design International has merged its two ready-to-wear lines into a single, lifestyle brand with the aim of reaching a broader range of consumers.
The tailored-driven David Chu line was folded into the Lincs – David Chu sportswear line in a bid to form a more fully merchandised lifestyle brand that combines modern elegance with casual ease. And to raise Lincs’ profile, founder David Chu is close to signing a sponsorship deal to dress the on-air talent of the Golf Channel, replacing Joseph Abboud as the channel’s official outfitter.
The Lincs label was retained for its association with the golf lifestyle, and to distinguish the reorganized brand from the luxury-level David Chu Bespoke line, said Chu, who is both an avid golfer and a connoisseur of the good life.
In conjunction with the changes, the company will license Lincs tailored clothing to Montreal-based S. Cohen, while keeping sportswear in-house. The license is for North America, with a high possibility of global expansion.
The deal should free Chu to focus more on the creative side of all his businesses, which include Tumi luggage and accessories and Mallory & Church licensed and private-label neckwear and hosiery, as well as Chu’s namesake apparel lines.
Chu, who had created Nautica and run it for 20 years before selling it to VF Corp., launched his eponymous collection in 2005, and followed up with Lincs a year later. David Chu was tailored, while Lincs was casual, but both were sporty.
“It’s the same design philosophy, so it makes more sense to combine them,” said Chu. “The goal is to focus on a single collection that covers a guy from elegant tailoring to sporty casualwear. He has a sporty life, but with dressy occasions too.”
The Lincs – David Chu collection now includes tailored clothing, dress shirts, neckwear, topcoats, sportswear and outerwear. Prices for tailored clothing will start at a lower opening price point than before, while prices for the other categories will largely remain as they were under the old brand structure. Suits will range from $695 to $1,200. In sportswear, woven shirts, knits and trousers all start at $98.
For retail partners, Lincs is targeting premium department stores such as Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, and fine specialty stores. The collection will be marketed at The Collective trade show and its own showroom in New York.
Under the Golf Channel deal, about 20 presenters and announcers will wear Lincs clothing, sportswear and furnishings on-camera, and some individuals will also make filmed appearances at Lincs events. In addition, the network will devote a few on-air features to discussing style with Chu.
David Chu Bespoke, which is handmade in Naples, Italy, and is sold exclusively through the company’s Gramercy townhouse, is gearing up to expand its offerings beyond suits, dress shirts and neckwear, but details are not yet solidified.