Nick Graham is back in the underwear business.
The designer, who made his mark as founder and chief underpants officer of Joe Boxer, is launching a collection of underwear and loungewear under his eponymous brand for holiday.
“Even though it’s a very competitive classification, I still see a big opportunity to bring color, innovation and irony to the category.” Graham said.
The Nick Graham underwear collection will include conversational prints as well as core and fashion basics in microfibers, cotton spandex and combed cotton in vibrant colors. “We want to put the fun back into functionality,” Graham said.
The all-cotton loungewear will be offered in both wovens and knits and is designed to be worn both in and out of the house. Graham said he views this classification as one of the biggest opportunities since it blurs the lines between sleepwear and ath-leisure.
John Kammeier, president of NGL, the company that produces the collection, said, “Nick’s sensibility in these categories is somewhat legendary and I see a huge opportunity in the market for us. The reaction so far has been nothing but remarkable, and proves to us that there is still a void not being addressed by this look.”
The underwear will be sold at department stores and online retailers and will have a suggested retail of $24-$29 for singles and $39-$42 for multipacks. The loungewear will start at $39.
The Nick Graham brand launched in 2014 and earlier this month Tharanco Group Inc. acquired the majority stake formerly held by Iconix Brand Group. The new owners said they will partner with NGL, Graham’s sales and marketing company, to distribute the brand’s collection of men’s dress shirts and furnishings, expand into other categories and bring the label to overseas markets next year.
The Nick Graham collection currently encompasses dress shirts, neckwear, tailored clothing, outerwear and cold-weather accessories.
“When I started the brand, I intentionally didn’t start in underwear, because I wanted to create a whole wardrobe,” Graham explained. “Even though we sell a lot of basic suitings and dress shirts, with underwear you can have more fun. So even though you look somewhat business-like on the outside, your underwear can be an expression of who you are. It’s what I like to call ‘mullet designing’ — business in the front and party in the back.”
During his years at Joe Boxer, Graham made headlines with his creative catchphrases — “The brand is the amusement park, the product is the souvenir” — and innovative marketing. He was among the first apparel designers to embrace the Internet in 1992 by teaming up with Microsoft to live-stream a fashion show from an airplane hangar in Iceland, and he shot a pair of underwear 120,000 feet from a single-thrust rocket, a record for the highest a pair of underwear has ever been on its own. He also staged the first transatlantic runway show 30,000 feet above Greenland by teaming with Richard Branson.
Since launching his own brand three years ago, Graham has continued using out-of-the-box ways to promote his label as evidenced by the inclusion of Buzz Aldrin and Bill Nye in his fall ’17 fashion show that he titled “Life On Mars: Fall 2025,” a show that generated 1 billion media impressions around the world.