We hope you’re wearing clean skivvies, readers, because today, August 7, America celebrates its not-so-official National Underwear Day. A consecration of your otherwise unmentionables, the 5th annual event takes a deep, long look at the $13 billion a year industry – and the bodies that make it happen.
Started by Freshpair founder and Queerty friend Michael Kleinmann, the New York City-based event sprang from the pantie guru’s love of the groin and its many moods:
We created National Underwear Day because we are passionate about underwear, and we wanted to create a day where everyone could celebrate underwear the way we do each day. After all, no one just reaches into their underwear drawer in the dark and grabs the first thing they see. Most people match their underwear to their mood or to their outfit.
Adapting 1960s happenings with guerilla marketing tactics, NUD began as a wandering event: sexy undressed models wandered the city spreading the word. In five brief years, the event’s swelled and settled into a more official venue: Time Square’s military island. Today, over fifty models will don eighteen brands of underwear – including Ginch Gonch, Paul Frank, C-IN2, Diesel, Hanes and women’s brands Natori and Barely There, among others – and strut their unclothed stuff for all the world to see.
In addition to the runway, Freshpair and co-sponsors Anthony Logistics for Men, Cotton Incorporated and Shape Magazine have constructed changing rooms for you and yours. Head on over to Fence Island (two blocks north of military island), slip into the changing room, slip into a new set and shimmy on out. It’s easier than your last trick.
The event isn’t just about drooling over models’ delectables, however. Since its inception, National Underwear Day dedicates itself just as much to the model citizen. The Freshpair. Freshstart program donates clean drawers to the city’s homeless population. While so-called bums definitely have bigger worries Kleinmann prefers to satisfy the more simple, often neglected needs.
We created the Freshpair. Freshstart. program because we believe in giving back to the community. Everyone needs a fresh pair and everyone deserves a fresh start. People donate clothes and coats and shoes, but no one donates underwear. Underwear is one of the most basic necessities, and as an underwear retailer, we are in unique position to donate underwear – and a lot of it.
Freshstart recently donated over four hundred Natori and C-IN2 undies to a Safe Horizon’s Streetwork shelter, the first installment of more than 10,000 pairs over the next year. It may not seem like that much, but most of us know how good a clean pair can feel. Underwear with a conscience? Now that’s fresh.
If you’re in NYC and near Times Square, head on over to the military island around 11, check out some models, get a fresh pair and show ’em off to someone special.