“There has been a change in men’s attitudes toward clothes. Men are more aware of fashion; they’re not afraid of it.” —Calvin Klein
This month, Aussie gay mag DNA celebrates its 150th issue with a shout-out to Aussiebum. That upstart underwear company has the distinction of being among the first to offer wares designed to give men an extra push… A little pocket in which one tucks their jewels made one big difference.
The runaway success of its novel underwear design led to a rethinking of men’s undergarments, bringing the “bulge” back into fashion with a bang it hadn’t seen since the late 1970s’ machismo signature (read: a sock stuffed in the front of one’s jeans) created by gays in San Francisco.
Today, crotch-focal undies have reached the mainstream, led by Andrew Christian (lower pic). Just take a look at David Beckham’s modeling pics in his scivvies. Any further questions? It certainly makes for a much prettier world. *
It’s been almost 30 years since a bold and beautiful 1983 Times Square ad featuring Olympic athlete Tom Hintnaus posing in his Calvin Kleins… which revolutionized the advertising industry, if not the Klein signature. For the first time, men were allowed to be as sexy—and sexually overt—as women in print adverts, thanks to what was then considered a risque visual from Bruce Weber.
Today, thankfully, men are regularly objectified in underwear ads (praise god!), with celebrities from Mark Wahlberg to David Beckham and Mario Lopez happily strutting around in next to nothing. As with most trends in fashion, the entire undercurrent began in the what was then the gay-subculture. Both Klein and Weber are gay and had a vision, which they swiped straight from the pages of the Undergear and International Male catalogs, which were celebrating the male form long before it was splashed across a New York City billboard.
Things aren’t so different today. Within the past five years, undies makers like 2(x)ist,Andrew Christian and Aussie Bum have made their fortunes marketing to the gay market boldly saying, at last, what everybody had always been thinking… “We’re designing underbritches to lift and push.” In a word: the package became mainstream.
Now, in 2012, Calvin Klein is introducing us to a new breed of strapping bucks wearing nothing but their Calvins—and bearing all for the world to see. Their latest breakout model is Matthew Terry, a Pennsylvania native who is the face… and crotch… of its new “Bold” line. Indeed. He is now gracing magazine covers, fashion spreads and gaining fame, all because he has such a… pronounced physique. Bring it on, baby. And let the men continue to have their day in the spotlight. *