Smart and Sexy? Or Just Smut?

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In a world of high fashion and skinny models on the runway, men’s wear designer Andrew Christian is pushing the limits of fashion, sexiness and what could be considered borderline smut.

With a Tumblr page full of naked models and fans, and viral videos that go from his website to YouTube, Christian is either the most ingenious business owner ever for tapping into a new breed of fashionistas or he’s using what we all know sells: Sex. But not just any sex. Christian’s main audience are gay males, and so in turn, many of his videos and images are laced with blatant homoeroticism.

Christian had a humble beginning but was soon thrust into the limelight thanks to his designs and a little help from reality television. Starting with mostly sportswear, Christian’s interest in fashion started at a young age.

“I’ve been designing since I was a teenager,” Christian told The Mirror. “In high school I would sell some stuff I made. I eventually went to fashion school.”

The formal training from fashion school would lead Andrew to create a successful business where he creates attractive designs at affordable prices.

“I use great materials and I like to keep my clothes at a mid range so everyone can afford them,” he said. “What’s the point of creating clothes when no one can afford to wear them?”

After his appearance on Bravo’s The Fashion Show, Christian became well know. Christian showed his taste and superior talent with his winning designs. His own website refers to him as having “movie star good looks.” The Fashion Show was just his first taste of television fame. After his stint with Bravo, Christian would appear on seasons three and four of The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. That’s when his signature designs started to take off.

“I had just started my underwear line when I was working with Janice’s show,” Christian said. “She’s been really great and supportive to me.”

That exposure and support has helped catapult his men’s wear line to national recognition. His best sellers for the last seven years are his line of “technically advanced” custom woven men’s underwear. With street, sport, fashion and basic-themed designs, Christian has produced low-cut, super low-cut and boxer brief underwear designs. Each style is intricately designed using specialized dye treatments, printed graphics and innovative materials such as bamboo fiber, sports mesh, and patented moisture wicking cotton blends. In fact, his Almost Naked design is made with 93 percent bamboo fiber.

The comfort and unique designs have garnered the young designer fans world-wide. His new use of social media has enabled him to tap into the hearts of a young generation that is attached to its phones, computers and fashion.

Atlanta resident, Matthew Clark, who works at a property tax lawyer’s office, can remember the first time he saw an Andrew Christian video. The video he saw was, in fact, the first one the designer ever released.

“I remember watching this car wash video when I was working for South Florida Gay News,” the 25-year-old said. “It was a car wash, if I’m not mistaken. It was definitely eye catching, and let’s just say hot.”

But do the videos show off a designer and his brand or just half-naked porn stars? Christian said using porn stars, and hot models in general, has allowed his clothing line to reach a new audience.

“I use the porn models because, well let’s face it, they look good in the underwear,” Christian said with a laugh. “I’ve been able to tap into the fan base that almost all porn stars have. It’s brought my product into the homes of new potential consumers.”

The use of a singular and particular model might leave people feeling alienated or not worthy of wearing the underwear. Clark agrees with this statement.

“I like the fact that all his clothes just look good. You know he uses good material, but the fit isn't always right for every body type,” Clark said. “Just because it comes in small and x-large doesn't mean they'll fit small and x-large men.”

In the last year, Christian has started to pull away from conventional print advertising to embrace the digital age. His daily email blasts to customers and Facebook fans keeps people in the loop on his designs, sales and videos. He created a Tumblr page to show off the photos of his models that would get him banned from Facebook. The gratuitous nudity isn’t just of his models though. Christian encourages his fans to send in their best pictures in the designer’s garments, soft or erect.

“I started getting so many submissions from fans that I thought this would be a great medium to show off people in my stuff,” Christian said. “Facebook is so censored that we can’t post a lot there.”

Showing off models and fans has to be perfect for business, right? Who doesn’t like seeing half naked men with rippling abs and a hard cock? Elizabeth Duffield, a 19-year-old foreign affairs student at the University of Virginia, can appreciate what she called the “shock value” of the videos and Tumblr, but feels the main thing is missing – the fashion.

“Using this idea of self image is so typical of fashion in America,” Duffield said. “It’s just another example of why our society needs to be refreshed.”

America should be used to seeing what advertisers think is the perfect body type for their clothes. Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries recently made comments that only “cool and beautiful” people are supposed to be wearing his clothes. The social backlash has A&F announcing plummeting sales and their leader back peddling to try and save face for himself and his company.

“There’s a shift now in fashion, if you ask me,” Duffield said. “Now men are led to believe that they have to look a certain way. Seeing things like is just hitting on the peril of creating an expectation that the only acceptable man is one with a six pack.”

Christian likes that he’s going to get his clothes and his name out there. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

“To reach the most people, Tumblr and the videos are the platform for that,” he said. “We don’t shoot sex. The videos are purely for entertainment. Sex sells.”

Christian’s intentions going forward are to continue using the videos and the other forms of social media interactions that have, so far, proven successful and profitable. He plans on expanding his clothing line, including his underwear, new sportswear and accessories. As far as his models go, he believes they offer a bit of encouragement for people.

“It’s really great when I meet people and they tell me how underwear has changed their lives,” Christian said. “It makes them more confident. They strive to look like the models. It’s awesome when clothes can promote a better life for people.”


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