Kevin Hart is teaming up with Tommy John.
This story first appeared in the September 8, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The comedian and actor has invested an undisclosed amount in the premium underwear line.
“I wanted to be something more than just another celebrity endorser,” said Hart, who also works with Nike — he introduced the Hustle Harts in January. “There’s something so much more authentic about investing in the brands that you love — brands that you wear, instead of getting paid to.”
According to Tom Patterson, Tommy John’s founder and chief executive officer, Hart, who has 41.6 million followers on Instagram and 30.7 million followers on Twitter, posted an image to social media of him wearing the underwear a few years ago but he didn’t approach the brand until earlier this year.
“We weren’t looking to bring in an outside investor or a celebrity endorser, but after getting to know Kevin and understanding what he’s about as a person, the partnership made sense,” said Patterson. “It goes against the traditional underwear endorsements. He’s actually paid us to work with him.”
Hart won’t be the face of the brand but he will help design an underwear and sock collection that will be available for fall 2017.
Patterson founded Tommy John in 2008 with underwear and has since expanded into socks, T-shirts and ath-leisure. Earlier this year, the brand introduced a Men of Substance campaign featuring former National Football League player Steve Weatherford.