This week, I am celebrating 14 years of UNB. It’s incredible how things have changed and grown over the 14 years. There have been a lot of ups and downs over that time. This week, I’m running some behind-the-scenes pictures or little-shown pictures in the UNB archive. I have every image and video we have ever done or posted.
By every photo and video, I mean every shoot we have ever done, including behind-the-scenes and raw video files. I also have every video we have posted, such as UNB Guide videos, video reviews, and more.
It got me thinking we need an archive of underwear pictures, videos, catalogs, etc. The prime example of this is the Undergewar/International Male catalogs. Having a PDF version of all these catalogs saved online would be brilliant.
One thing I did when I heard that UnderGear was going out of business was to go to their Facebook Page and download everything I could. Not knowing if it would be deleted or not. While it’s not everything, these files cover the years of most of the digital years until they close.
This week, something happened that made me wonder if underwear content was being taken off social media. I am not on Facebook as much as I used to be and log in once a week or so, but not every day. This past Saturday, I logged in and was notified that a page (that I used to be an admin for from 2011-2013) had a picture that violated the Facebook TOS. At first, I was confused; why was I seeing this underwear store page that I hadn’t been involved with since 2013? First, yes, I posted this image but not being an admin, I couldn’t do anything about this page. This made me think of how many brands have come and gone, and their Facebook/IG/Twitter accounts have all been abandoned. How many of these will be taken off for violating TOS and be gone forever?
I went to Facebook to see if the page was still up and whoever bought UnderGear now has control over the page. You can still see the “original” pics in their photo section.
We all know the issues with social media. We can’t post anything that sexualizes a man at all. What was acceptable ten years ago on social is not good today.
Here is what I think we need to save, but not limited to:
- Catalogs – There have been several catalogs that are of significance. They include UnderGear, Prevail Sport, and MalePak.
- Ads – I grew up on those Jim Palmer ads and have gone out of my way to get as many ads as possible off eBay. In the 80s and 90, ‘s Fitness magazines such as “Exercise for Men Only” and “Men’s Workout.” used to have some fantastic ads, which are sadly gone now.
- Photos – Many fun and iconic brand images need a repository for future uses. The photos include catalog (product) and lifestyle images.
- Videos – Video marketing is coming into its right now. More brands are doing videos. Like Facebook/IG, YouTube doesn’t like men’s underwear videos.
Should this archive be open to everyone? Something like Wikipedia. Or should it be more closed off for research, documentaries, and movies? I think it needed to be behind a paywall just due to the size of the collection. The costs of hosting all that data would add up fast.
FYI if you love classic underwear advertisements and catalogs follow Florian Lassalle on Twitter.
An underwear archive would be awesome! There was one back around 2006ish called Premium Ads that archived all the underwear advertising from old catalogs. It was non-sexual and just captured underwear styles over the previous years for men, women, boy, girls. It was interesting to see how varied and colourful underwear was before the 90’s and underwear became literally unmentionables.
An archive is a great idea and I would pay to help start it and maintain it. There also could include a “boxers or briefs” list of famous people. There used to be one that was maintained but I haven’t seen it for a long time. Please reach out to me for private contact info.