Power Gays: Andrew Christian and the magic of underwear
GSN meets Andrew Christian, the designer who brought gay men underwear that lifts and separates.
I remember buying my first pair of Andrew Christian underwear. I was in Berlin on a romantic mini-break with a boyfriend, we were browsing in the famous Bruno’s sex shop in Schöneberg.
As well as everything you would expect to buy in a sex shop, they had a big range of Andrew Christian underwear on display – there was something about the pair of blue Flashback briefs that really spoke to me. Finally some comfortable and stylish underwear that also gave you a boost in all the right places.
It was a bit of an honour to speak to the man behind the briefs: American designer, Andrew Christian.
When did you realise that underwear was your thing?
Actually underwear was the last category I added into the line. I had been designing sportswear and swimwear for years prior to adding underwear into the line. Underwear did take off fast and now this is the category many people associate with the brand.
The technology of underwear seems to be something that you’ve successfully explored. Concepts such as ‘anti-muffin top’, ‘flashback’ and ‘show-it’ have changed the game for men’s underwear. Were you confident that men would respond positively to these developments?
Whenever I introduce a new concept into the line I never know how people will receive it, however I try to introduce concepts that will really benefit someone. After all underwear is functional.
Are you continuing to test and develop new underwear technologies?
Yes we always are working on something new. Our latest introduction has been the ‘Trophy Boy’ line of underwear. I designed this with a larger pouch that is anatomically shaped for guys that are well-endowed.
Your marketing seems to be strongly targeted towards gay men, is it only gay men that wear your underwear?
The new generation of men, straight or gay, are much more liberal and don’t care how something is labeled. Our underwear is designed well, looks cool, feel comfortable and is affordable and appeals to many types of people, including women who want to buy their men something sexy.
The videos produced to market the underwear seem to be getting sexier and more explicit – does that mean higher sales?
When we are making a video it is just like having a good time with your best friends. Sometimes things get a little crazy. I think people love our videos because they are real guys, who are true friends in real life having a good time. Nothing is ever forced or phony in our videos which is why when people watch our videos their first reaction is: ‘I want to be there having a blast with those guys in the video’.
What type of guy buys Andrew Christian?
Our underwear is designed by concept so we have many different types of customers all with different needs and desires. For example ‘Almost Naked’ is designed for guys who want ultra comfort. ‘Trophy Boy’ customers are guys that are ‘hung’. ‘Show-it’ underwear targets guys that want more support and exhibitionists who like a bulge to show in their pants. ‘Color Vibe’, ‘Vivid Fuse’ and ‘RetroPop’ are super-affordable. If we identify a need in the market we try and design an underwear for it.
What proportion of your sales are online compared to retail purchases?
Approximately 60% of our sales are online. People like shopping on our website because it is a whole experience – not just a store. Our section of videos provide endless hours of entertainment for people.
The brand has reached an international level of recognition and an international audience, what are the next steps for continuing to grow the business?
I think the brand is on the correct course but there are still many countries we are only beginning to tap into.
What style of Andrew Christian underwear do you prefer to wear?
I test out every new style of underwear we introduce so I am always wearing something new. But I do love the ‘Trophy Boy’, so you know what that means…