A ’Brief’ History of Underwear According to Fu
Some of us collect shoes; others have a penchant for cufflinks or other accessories. And then there are those who have an overstuffed drawer filled with everything from tighty whities to boxer briefs. New York-based underwear designer Fu is admittedly obsessed with the evolution of the undergarment. He offers EDGE readers exclusive insight into what has now become a multi-billion dollar industry.
For decades, men’s underwear stayed in the closet, it was a garment that was worn for practical purposes. Then Calvin Klein arrived on the scene in 1982 with the iconic images of Olympic pole-vaulter Tom Hintaus shot on location in the Greek Islands.
A friend of mine who worked at Bloomingdales in the 80s thought that the photos were sheer pornographic (which back then it almost was)... and he loved it! The billboards stopped traffic in Time Square, people started to take notice and Calvin Klein became synonymous with sexy men’s underwear and the burgeoning cottage industry of sexy men’s undergarments was launched.
What man has not owned pair of Calvin Kleins? In fact, the brand became so synonymous for men that Klein’s daughter Marci told Newsweek in 1994 that, "My only complaint about having a father in fashion is that every time I’m about to go to bed with a guy, I have to look at my dad’s name all over his underwear."
Other designers quickly followed suit with their own brands. The 1990s saw the launch 2(x)ist. The brand label and logo were so clever, catchy and somewhat confusing - so much so that it caused shoppers to look twice. You couldn’t walk around the bustling gay neighborhood of Chelsea in New York City or the streets of San Francisco without seeing the 2(x)ist logo peeking out of a guy’s stylish low rise jeans.
What’s Your Style?
I believe your outerwear says how you want the world to perceive you, but your underwear is how you feel and think about yourself. Who you are you in private? Do you have self-love? Self-respect? How do you express your authenticity?
Today there are myriad of underwear options that incorporate different cuts, colors and fabrics. For the underwear connoisseur, you can have an underwear wardrobe for any and all occasions. A well-made pair of underwear is one of life’s simple pleasures, like a cup of good coffee.
Brands are getting more and more creative with their labels. (2wink and 4Skins are two up-and-coming Australian brands. Ginch Gonch relies on playful prints and patterns and approaches its designs with a more lighthearted tone.
Other major fashion labels have gotten in on the action, including Andrew Christian, Michal Kors, Tommy Hilfiger and of course the classic Calvin Klein is still in the game. And now we have FU e=fu8, my personal brand.
How Lucky Can You Get?
FU means "lucky" in Chinese and I wanted to create a brand that exemplifies my life view. Make the most out of our precious time and spend it pursuing things that bring and enhance our pleasure. FU e=fu8 is made exclusively in Manhattan. I love New York and want to contribute to the resurgence of the famous Garment District. FU e=fu8 fabrics are ultra soft and have a nice stretch, so you feel supported. The finest materials were sourced to make this underwear collection including a high thread count of 95 percent cotton and 5 percent spandex. This premium cotton will hold up after multiple washes.
Whether you choose a simple white brief or a more colorful (and revealing) option, remember that your underwear is the first thing you put on... and the last thing you take off - so you should love every moment you’re wearing it!
FU e=fu8 can be purchased online at fuunderwear.com