Underwear Nation


86555957c18dd6e49f692ed937da40dcRecently, I posted an amazing Calvin Klein ad from the ‘80s on Twitter and asked the question “Should we bring back ads like this?”

Recently, I tweeted an amazing Calvin Klein ad from the 80’s and asked the question “Should we bring back ads like this?” That prompted a great conversation with one of our followers about Jim Palmer and other ads from the 70’s and 80’s. The funny thing is the follower is 25, so he wasn’t even born when many of the ads ran, but had a big appreciation for the ads.

Looking back at ads of that time, they featured sports stars of the day. The biggest and most well- known was Jim Palmer of the Baltimore Orioles. He graced the pages of People magazine wearing just a pair of Jockey Elance and a smile! Do you think you would see Derek Jeter in underwear ads these days? Nope! Very few American athletes endorse underwear. In European countries and Australia, for example, athletes like Ben Cohen and Cristiano Ronaldo are not only modeling in and endorsing underwear lines but also creating their own.

Earlier this week, I checked on my storage unit – seems like my entire life is kept there these days – and noticed a box was collapsing. While reorganizing the boxes, I discovered a plastic notebook containing my underwear ads and decided to bring them home. I’ve been thinking of framing them, rather than storing them in a binder.

These recent events made me think. Are underwear ads art?

I loved that the 70’s ads were more staged like a guy preparing for his day, getting dressed or shaving. This was the start of the sports starts dropping their trousers and showing underwear. Jockey had the best underwear ads out there. Some may think, “Jockey? Really?” But yes, they brought color and bikini cuts to the men’s underwear world, breaking away from the traditional “tighty whities”. The ads definitely showed off the difference in their underwear, but still looked like classic ads.

The 80’s brought us the Calvin Klein ad (see main image) with the model in white briefs against the white wall. This definitely looked much more like a work of art than an ad. These ads were noticed throughout the fashion industry and the public. They sparked stories in mainstream media, on shows such as Entertainment Tonight, and other outlets. CK produced other ads (one where the same model is taking off his shirt), but none received the same attention. This iconic ad prompted other underwear companies to produce more artistic ads.


Calvin Klein continued to dominate the market with their ads in the ‘90s, not only for the underwear but also for the models selected. One of the first, and most notorious, was Mark Wahlberg. Marky Mark, at the time, was all over billboards in Times Square in the popular black and white CK ads. He posted in his underwear when few would even talk about men’s underwear. (I believe these ads sparked the boxer brief craze that is still alive today.)

The next decade saw a change in men’s underwear ads. Print publications were losing circulation – mainstream magazines didn’t include many ads, but gay magazines continued. The ads were getting more expensive with less return. So what did the brands do? They turned to the internet, getting their images out to a wider audience. The brands started producing amazing pics of their underwear.

Like many others, the online pictures caught my eye and were the main reason I discovered many new brands, like Cocksox. I saw the first pictures of Earl Sandor modeling the red CX01, and knew I needed a pair right then! Gone were the days of basic product shots. We wanted to see more lifestyle pictures, rather than close-up shots.

Other brands have begun making some great ads as well…

C-IN2 produced the series “Jail”, which was very provocative and ahead of its time. It told a story rather than just show off the underwear. After a few years, they followed with another series (shot by photographer Rick Day – see the pic at the bottom) titled “Parole”. C-IN2 accompanied their photo work with videos on YouTube. The used the stories from the photos and videos to create advertising campaigns. This brand continues to produce some of those most creative ads in the world of underwear in recent years.

When 2EROS first came on the market in 2007-2008, they had amazing retro-inspired pictures that went along with the great background and glasses for their Victory line. Each collection since has added more and more amazing pictures. They use backgrounds, such as beaches, to show off their underwear and swimwear. The current collections feature model Ryan Greasley (shot by Simon Le). They don’t create a story behind their lines, like C-IN2, but consistently deliver great pictures.

Underwear Nation has turned underwear advertising into an art form. They aren’t a brand, but a retailer. Each month they profile a different pair for the Underwear of the Month Club and create a campaign around it. Their photographer, Jerrad Matthew, has done some of the hottest work in men’s underwear. The locker room campaign for the Timoteo Varsity series stands out most. In it, model Justin Leonard wears the blue and white underwear against a backdrop of a red locker room, allowing the underwear to really stand out. They create a new campaign for each month’s pair. Club subscribers get a post card featuring that month’s ad along with the underwear. (I’ve told them they need to create posters of the amazing pictures!)

There are so many other companies that I wish I could cover here, but that would be a super long post. We at Underwear News Briefs will continue to discuss and showcase the brands’ photography. We all love the amazing pictures, but we’re not knocking any brands not mentioned. Photography is one of the most expensive things about men’s underwear (I know from experience shooting our guides!), and not every brand has that amount of time and money. We want to spotlight some that are doing it right and creating images that could easily be hung on the wall as art.
I’ve profiled just a few that stick out in my head, but there are tons more out there doing amazing work! Future featured brands include: Modus Vivendi, aussieBum, Marcuse, and Teamm8.

What brands do you think make works of art with their pictures and ads?


I met Jerrad and Todd in February of last year in Vegas at Project where we get to see all the new trends in men’s underwear. I was really excited to meet them because I had heard a lot about their new company, Underwear Nation, and wanted to learn more about how they got the idea to start an underwear retailer. We sat down in the luxe Cosmopolitan after the underwear show and talked. Underwear Nation is always a topic of conversation on the underwear scene! If you aren’t familiar with the online store I am sure you know their amazing photography that seems to pop up all over the Internet.

I started our conversation by asking them how Underwear Nation got its start. As it turns out, Jerrad and Todd were acquaintances from over 15 years ago that parted ways after meeting at a random party. Jerrad was leaving to dance on a cruse ship, and Todd was moving to Chicago to pursue his business career. Several years later Todd was combing the Internet for hot guys and saw Jerrad’s work on a blog. After rekindling their friendship, Todd hired him to do a photo shoot for a bar he was working at in Madison. The rest is history!

Both fans of (hot guys in) underwear they talked about how they wanted to do something in industry. “We had a great brand name in Underwear Nation. And we wanted to create a solid business plan that would surge into the Men’s Underwear industry and set us apart.” Todd and Jerrad launched Underwear Nation as an Underwear of the Month Club where members would get a pair of briefs, boxer briefs or jockstraps every month. In addition, they wanted to provide a curated retail experience with great editorial content such as Jerrad’s original photography every month. As UN has evolved they have begun releasing new men’s underwear product lines through a monthly Issue with a themed photo shoot such as the very popular Varsity series set in the locker room featuring Timoteo.

As they have grown over the past 18 months, like most entrepreneurs, Todd and Jerrad have had some challenges along the way. Jerrad mentioned “the constant deadlines of a small team that create a lot of creative pressure for us.” And being an online retailer has presented lots of issues as the company continues to grow. “Sometimes we have to stop everything and work on technical issues…things that necessarily aren’t our strength, but are important for the growth and viability of the company,” Todd said.

I asked the team at Underwear Nation what surprised them as an Internet retailer. They mentioned how awesome it was to have a global customer base, and how cool it was to get orders from everywhere from Australia to Israel. And with the global presence, Jerrad and Todd are eager to see the company grow and expand to become one of the largest underwear retailers on the Internet. Todd added, “Not only do we want to continue to improve our curated product selection in our store, but we also want to continue to engage our customers in new and interesting ways.” At Underwear News Briefs we know it will be amazing and I can’t wait to see the progress!

unb-reader-award-winnersWe want to thank everyone who nominated and voted in the 1st Annual UNB Reader Awards. It was a lot of fun to do and thank the brands that really got the word out. You have a year off till the next one! But you spoke and here are the winners of the 2014 UNB Reader Awards.

Some of the votes were really close and it went right to the wire! All the pairs nominated were awesome pairs so you can’t go wrong with any of them. It was cool to see some new brands you guys love and some standards.

The Winners are:

Best Bikini – Cocksox CX16 Waistband Bikini



Best Brief 2(X)ist Sliq Mesh Brief


Best Thong – Andrew Christian Almost Naked Smooth Vive Spider Thong



Best Jock – Andrew Christian Coolflex Active Jock



Best Jock Brief – Andrew Christian Airsculpt Locker Room Jock



Best Trunk – Timoteo Rugby Scout Square Cut Brief



Best Boxer Brief – Andrew Christian Color Vibe Boxer



Best Fetish Wear Brand – Cellblock13



Best Swimwear Brand – Andrew Christian


Best Overall Brand for 2013 – Andrew Christian



Best Online Retailer – Underwear Nation



Best Brick and Mortar Store – Andrew Christian Flagship Boutique


Best Underwear Model – Colby Melvin


Best Photographer – Jerrad Matthew



These are our winners!







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What made you guys start Underwear Nation?
It was our mutual obsession with underwear that brought myself and my business partner Todd Wendrick together on this project.  Todd was obsessed with finding and wearing the hottest and best designs around the world, and I was obsessed with shooting them on the hottest Blake-N2N-Jockmale models.  We were friends from way back, but it was when Todd saw my photography on a few blogs that we discussed starting a business together.  The rest is history.

Why did you go with a subscription model? I will say the pairs you pick have been amazing picks.
Thanks! We wanted to offer something different and something new from what was available at the time in the world of online men’s underwear shopping.  We tossed around a million ideas.  We knew Underwear Nation has to be special.  I believe it was over some good food and a few drinks that lightening struck and we came up with the subscription model.  We wanted to be able to do some really amazing photography focused on one amazing pair of underwear.  And more importantly, we wanted to introduce other undie-lovers to our passion and to great new styles and designers they might not have known about.  We do all the work, our members (or Citizens) reap the rewards.

One thing that sets you apart is your photography, What made you focus on it?
Again, Todd approached me because of my photography.  We knew our strong suits were his knowledge of underwear and underwear brands and my photography.  Use your strengths, right?  We wanted to set ourselves apart, and vowed never to use stock photography.  We do all our own custom photo shoots.  We wanted another awesome cherry on top to offer our Citizens.

Jake-T4bYou did a contest for models a few months back how did that go?
The reception to the model contest was mind-blowing!  We had over 40 male models from around the United States enter, with votes pouring in daily!  Ultimately it came down to an intense battle between the top two guys.  It was a fight to the finish!  I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it.  The vote total would swing in one guy’s favor and then the others, up to the last second!  It was amazing.  We can’t wait to do it again next year.

What has been your biggest good surprise in starting an underwear retailer? What has been your biggest challenge moment?
The fans.  The fans have been the best surprise.  We’re amazed at the interaction, the conversation, and all the social media love!
Our biggest challenge is that of any business, how do we get our name out there!?  How do we make the world see what an amazing product we offer!

What can we expect form you guys in the future?
We are working hard on a new and improved website!  We’re looking forward to expanding the types of memberships we offer, styles and cuts of underwear, swimwear, loungewear, etc!  Oh, and the Ambassador Program is going to kick ass!  But we can’t talk about that yet!

Find out more about Underwear Nation at their site –

birthday-blog3Become a Citizen of the Underwear Nation ( by signing up for a 6 month membership and they will send you ONE FREE PAIR OF UNDERWEAR.  Sign up for a 12 month membership and they will send you TWO FREE PAIRS.  Just enter promo code BDAY1 at checkout.  They will  pick a complimentary pair based on the preferences you select when joining and send them with your first month’s shipment.


Any guy who thinks he has the face and body to be our next underwear model and is a US resident can enter right through the Facebook App.  We’re accepting submissions through Friday, March 29th at 11:59pm.  Voting is already up and running and will end on April 13th.   Underwear Nation will judge the submissions and men chosen as finalists will be posted to the app for voting.

We encourage guys to STILL ENTER the contest, there is plenty of time to make up votes in the 13 days after submissions close!  It’s still anyone’s game!  Models can push, promote, share and encourage their fans and friends to vote every day for them.  Voters can vote once every 24 hours and for as many models as they want.

The prize is a flight to Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Two nights at the JW Marriott, Grand Rapids (  A photo shoot for the monthly feature on and free undies.

CONTEST-fbDo you have the face AND BODY to be Underwear Nation‘s next model? Submit your image, get likes, create a buzz and you could win! Winner will receive a flight, hotel, photo shoot with Underwear Nation & FREE undies of course!

To enter:

  • Submit an image of yourself wearing your best undies to before Friday, March 29. Be sure the image shows off your body, but is tasteful. (No nudity please).
  • Underwear Nation will choose the finalists to be posted to a gallery on our Facebook page starting March 30. Get your friends to “like” your image in the gallery!
  • Voting ends Saturday, April 13th. The model with the most “Likes” WINS!!!

*** Must be 18 yrs old or older to enter. Model search is open to male applicants in the continental United States only. Please include the following information with your submitted images:
1. First and Last Name (only first name will be posted)
2. Phone number
3. Email Address
4. City and State
5. Date of Birth

No personal information will be shared with anyone.

Chris-T4bToday’s Brief Distraction is from Underwear Nation. This is their pair of the month, the Jor Paris Boxer. If you aren’t familiar with the Underwear Nation site, they specialize in an underwear of the month style membership. They pick a really great pair of underwear to send you each month. I got to meet with them in Vegas and they are amazing guys. We will bring you more of them soon with some things in the works.