Ron Chereskin has been in the design game for four decades, racking up Coty, Cutty Sark and Woolmark awards over the course of a career that started in the 1970s. And in his latest reinvention, Chereskin has teamed with Mike Grillo, cofounder of Gravity Products,’ a lifestyle brand best known for its Gravity Blanket, to launch a line of men’s underwear under the Mdrnst label.
Chereskin has been working with Gravity Products for over a year and signed on as creative director last June. He created the brand’s weighted robe as well as other home products such as sheets and covers for the company’s weighted blankets. The success of these products prompted Grillo, chief executive officer of Gravity Products, to look into expanding into other lifestyle products.
“He’s a real entrepreneur,” Chereskin said of Grillo, “and really wants to grow his brand. Because of that, he said, ‘Let’s bring your underwear back.'” Chereskin last designed underwear around eight years ago under his eponymous brand, he said.
Mdrnst features a tailored trunk silhouette in five patterns and a variety of colors. Chereskin’s ability to work with color has been one of the hallmarks of his designs through the years.
“Ron and his artistic acumen are already an integral part of my Gravity business — his unique designs coupled with our iconic weighted blankets generated more than $1 million [in sales] in the first six months following launch,” Grillo said. “Given this success, I knew Ron was the right person to spearhead the creation of Mdrnst, my first endeavor within the apparel space, as his distinguished and legendary expertise lends to our shared vision for the Mdrnst man.”
The underwear will launch on Wednesday and retail for $28. Chereskin has reinvented the silhouette to be 1 1/2 inches shorter than a traditional boxer brief yet longer than a standard trunk — a length that is intended to keep the underwear in place. The pouch is designed with an extended inseam for comfort and support and the waistband is wider to reduce rubbing and the appearance of love handles, according to Chereskin.
Chereskin, who is an illustrator as well as a fashion designer, said the color palette is centered around an ombre gradation, available in a solid or stripe, and there are also prints including the Pixel, which is designed to create illusions; a sporty Starburst pattern, and a Twist Turn, intended to display movement.
The Mdrnst underwear is made from a cotton/modal/spandex blend to be soft and breathable with water absorption qualities. The modal fabric is made from reconstituted beech tree cellulose, which makes the production more eco-friendly since it uses less water than cotton.
“I had wanted to start another men’s wear venture and felt that Mike and his leadership with Gravity Products demonstrated that he was the right person to bring this vision to life,” Chereskin said. “I was up for the challenge of designing a unique, quality product that cuts the market down the middle from a price perspective, while still delivering stunning construction and imaginative design. I’m looking forward to growing the business and expanding into other categories such as other silhouettes of underwear and knitwear.”
Chereskin said the plan is to eventually expand into other underwear silhouettes as well as additional apparel products, including his signature knitwear. “We want to get traction on this first and then we’ll reassess in six months,” he said, adding that Grillo is already talking about relaunching sweaters. “But we’re going to take baby steps.”
The underwear will be available in sizes from small to extra large and will be sold on the Mdrnst.nyc e-commerce site as well as at select retailers.
Since launching in 2017 following a $4.7 million Kickstarter campaign, Gravity Products has grown into a $65 million company. Before cofounding the company, Grillo worked in marketing, public relations and supply chain management for brands including PepsiCo, Pfizer and Mondelez.