Jockey to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Brief
Imagine a world where boxer shorts and union suits are the only styles of men's underwear. That was the case until 1934, when the Jockey Brief -- the world's first men's brief -- was invented. At the time, this new garment was ground-breaking, innovative, revealing, and even daring. This year, Jockey proudly celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Jockey Brief, a garment that dramatically changed the landscape for the men's underwear category and continues to be one of the most dominant styles of underwear today.
"Jockey has had many innovative firsts in the company's 133-year history, but none more significant than the invention of the Jockey Brief," says Ed Emma, chief operating officer, Jockey International, Inc. "Today Jockey continues to be an industry leader offering men and women a full array of apparel styles -- including the brief -- sold in more than 120 countries around the globe."
The inspiration for the Jockey Brief came in 1934, when Coopers, Inc. (a then-popular U.S. underwear company) executive Arthur Kneibler received a postcard from the French Riviera depicting a man wearing a bikini-style swimsuit. In this photo, Kneibler saw an opportunity for a new and somewhat risque design of men's underwear, and the brief was soon invented. The garment was called the Jockey Brief, because of its jock strap-like functional benefits, which would offer its wearers more comfort and masculine support than other undergarments available at the time.
The very first Jockey briefs were sold on January 19, 1935 at the Marshall Field & Co. store in Chicago. Despite blizzard conditions on the day of its launch, the new-fangled underwear was such a sensation that the entire stock was depleted before noon. In the following week, 12,000 pairs were sold, and the Jockey Brief was on its way to its place in history. In fact, the Jockey Brief was in such demand that the company secured an airplane dubbed the Masculiner to more rapidly distribute the garments to eager retailers.
The Jockey Brief proved to be so popular and ubiquitously known for men's underwear that, in 1971, the company Coopers, Inc. adopted the Jockey brand name as its own.
75 Years Later . . .
Despite the age-old question of boxers vs. briefs, the brief remains one of the more popular styles in men's underwear. In fact, according to a December 2008 report by NPD Group, one in every four pairs of men's underwear purchased today is a brief. To meet an increasingly diverse range of men's fit and fashion preferences, Jockey International, Inc. continues to expand its collection of briefs and other undergarments to provide a wide variety of styles, fabrications and colors to best fit men's needs, body types and personalities.
As the men's underwear category has evolved, the classic brief has inspired a variety of silhouettes, including the low-rise brief, the trunk and the boxer brief. Innovations in fabrications, including the use of spandex, lyocell and mesh have added to the versatility of this garment. In addition, new color introductions have been in high demand by men looking to spice up their underwear drawer.