I remember as a kid my brother used to get the International Male catalog delivered to the house. As soon as it showed up I would sneak it off to my bedroom to look at all the hot guys in underwear at the back of the catalog. As I got older I remember saving up money to buy some of their sexy underwear or swimwear. I was so excited when my first delivery came to the house.
Eventually International Male started sending out a separate magazine just called Undergear. Then in 2009 they did away with International Male brand and went exclusively by the name of Undergear.
At their peak International Male and Undergear were grossing about $50 million a year. The problem was because of the outlandish designs and bad publicity the brand was tarnished. Models no longer wanted to work for them in fear of their reputations and gay men weren't very excited about wearing the Undergear name. Remember the Seinfeld episode "The Puffy Shirt"? A direct hit against the brand making fun of their ridiculous fashion.
As an underwear blogger who has been in the business since 2007 I always thought how slow they were to embrace the internet. It allowed competitors such as International Jock and Freshpair to establish a better internet base. Undergear was slow to act and was never able to catch up.
Now with only 30 items currently up for sale (and most of them on clearance) it looks as if Undergear is about to close up shop for good.
Who was their most famous cover model? In Spring 1980 Olympic Gold Medal winner Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner was featured on the cover.