Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!



Andrew Christian: From rags to britches
Extended for the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Michael A. Knipp

This article shared 7955 times since Wed Jun 25, 2008
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

If you spotted clothing designer Andrew Christian pounding the star-studded pavement of Hollywood Blvd., you might mistake him for a cleaner-cut Colin Farrell or, perhaps, a more rugged Robin Thicke.

But Christian is neither a reformed drunk from Dublin or a pretty-boy R&B balladeer.

Still, the 29-year-old Christian seeps sex appeal with the best of 'em.

Especially in his underwear.

Born and raised in Fresno, Calif., and moving to Los Angeles at age 19, Christian is the proprietor of Andrew Christian Inc., the up-and-coming clothier that's giving Ginch Gonch and other alternative fashion houses a run for its money. Once a fledgling brand back in the late 1990s, Andrew Christian is now a popular and, more importantly, profitable endeavor that's outfitting gay America from its skin-tight shirt obsession to its super-low-cut skivvies.

Perhaps you've heard of Andrew Christian. If you haven't, then surely you've seen its ads. They feature taut models in various positions of bare-chested brotherly love, clad in nothing more than a pair of briefs.

By now, every in-the-know homo should have stumbled upon the single-shot spots. That's because they've appeared in myriad fag rags from D.C. to Dallas, New York to Newport. Beach, that is.

But while these scenes of PG-13 playtime emit an aura of sex and excitement, Christian's company wasn't always a label to which consumers flocked. In fact, it wasn't until recently that anyone knew it existed at all.

Christian's story starts out like most of those who head out west with twinkles in their eyes and a few dollars in their pockets. But unlike other hopefuls that land in L.A. seeking fame and fortune, Christian was content attending college to become proficient in his passion. Of the schools he applied to, L.A. Trade Tech—which the designer describes as 'the more ghetto of the designs school in L.A.'—accepted him, giving him the experience he needed to eventually fly solo.

'I moved here to go to school for fashion design,' said Christian, from the floor of a Las Vegas fashion convention. 'I worked for clothing manufacturers like KikWear and did freelance for Freshjive while working on my own line on the side. Even while working for these companies I knew I wanted to do my own thing. I used them as more of a learning experience, a steppingstone.'

While that springboard proved worthwhile, Christian encountered problems along the way, namely, moving his products. Although he describes the southern California fashion scene as easier to break into than other areas, it still wasn't a weekend in WeHo.

Like most companies, his startup was barebones and barely on its feet. Christian knew he had marketable merchandise, but he wasn't sure he had the funds to follow through. Ever determined to claim his piece of the American pie, however, he buckled down and made the best of his most abundant resource—himself.

'I was basically doing as much stuff on my own as possible,' Christian recalled of the first few years on his own. 'I kept my payroll as low as possible. I ran my own errands, cut patterns myself, invoices, packed boxes myself. I was working very long days and weekends.'

'The toughest thing was getting people to know who you are,' he continued. 'There are a million different companies out there; that was the biggest obstacle to overcome. There were lean times when I thought I wasn't going to make it, but I always believed I could do it. I just said, let me stick with this until I absolutely can't do it anymore. Finally, it paid off.'

It's paying off big time, too. Not only is Christian shipping his goods across the nation, he's also exporting it to customers in other countries. In addition, he has a list of celebrity clients that includes comedian Alec Mapa and former 'Queer Eye' guy Jai Rodriquez.

But why all this sudden attention? Why, after 10 years of snipping and clipping, has the Andrew Christian clothing line only recently taken off?

It's simple, really: Christian became a contender in the Battle of the Bulge.

When Andrew Christian underwear debuted earlier this year—it was strictly sportswear beforehand—the vast array of colors and styles wasn't the only thing that demanded the attention of potential customers. Also peaking interest was an adjustable elastic strap sewn into the inside of each pair that worked as a sort of WonderBra for the nether region. That's right, dubbed Show-It Technology, Christian's groundbreaking briefs, boxer briefs and jockstraps featured a device that offered PR for the penis while holding the male anatomy proudly in place.

'Whether you're male, female, straight or gay, it seems that most agree that size matters,' Christian said sheepishly. 'Show-It Technology just facilitates the 'bigger is better' theory. It assists guys in showing off what they have.'

Or don't have, as is sometimes the case. But that's neither here nor there.

Though the line initially helped secure Andrew Christian a place on the fashion map, Show-It Technology was discontinued just a few short months after its launch. Christian says that despite the 'technology' helping to broaden Andrew Christian's fan base, it ultimately scared a certain sect of its constituency.

'Seems like [Show-It] freaked out some people who are a little more conservative,' he admitted.

While Christian hopes that eliminating Show-It from his underwear will help generate a greater acceptance of the line, it doesn't mean that he has abandoned all attempts to innovate. Just the opposite is the case. Taking what he learned from his initial outing, the buff designer has launched a new feature in the near future.

'[We've introduced] one style that has a sort of butt lifter in it, called the Flashback,' he said.

Another recent announcement from Christian was his company's association with runway-walker-turned-reality-show-renegade Janice Dickinson. The pair have teamed up to place Dickenson's models, from her eponymous modeling agency, in Christian's clothing.

As a result of this win-win spin on piggyback advertising, new models are now appearing on the Andrew Christian Web site, and 'The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency' aired episodes featuring Christian.

Notwithstanding a brief turn as a stone-faced strutter—'At one point in the shoot Janice and I had to demonstrate to the newbie models how to runway walk properly,' Christian quipped—the former Fresnan has since returned to the real world, where real work is required, to ensure that his supply of package-promoting products meets its current demand. That means nothing less than continuing to creatively pioneer everything that bears the Andrew Christian logo, a Swiss-inspired cross.

And you can bet that will include even more cheeky concepts.

'I definitely see us doing underwear, continuing with that,' the entrepreneur says. 'New fabrics, more breathable fabrics, eco-friendly fabrics.

'We're also trying to get actively involved in the communities. People appreciate us coming to them to show them our products so they can see the quality and understand that Andrew Christian is a real person and not just a big corporation that doesn't really care about them.'

It's a philosophy that, considering the source, gives bold new meaning to having a heart on.

Michael A. Knipp can be reached at .

This article shared 7955 times since Wed Jun 25, 2008
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Chella Man talks media endeavors, the fashion world, upcoming book, AAPI visibility 2021-03-31
- The multi-talented 22-year-old, Deaf, genderqueer, transgender, Jewish, AAPI, artist and activist Chella Man has done more in his short life than most people achieve in their lifetimes. This includes a successful YouTube channel; TedX talk, modeling ...

Gay News

- Playwright: Theresa Rebeck At: Online. Tickets: $25-$50; Runs through: Aug. 23 Fashion being an integral element in romantic fiction, we are not surprised to first discover our heroine in her boudoir, readying herself for a ...

Gay News

AUTOS 2020 Cadillac XT6 is the stylish transport for you and your posse 2020-08-18
- Cadillac has long hosted fashion shows with acres of flat sheetmetal, glistening chrome, and cabins drenched with all the finest materials. This once meant block-long sedans, but people aren't buying ...

Gay News

- Playwright: Theresa Rebeck At: Online. Tickets: $25-$50; . Runs through: Aug. 23 Fashion being an integral element in romantic fiction, we are not surprised to first discover our heroine in her boudoir, readying herself for ...

Gay News

BOOKS In fashion: Jay Manuel dishes on 'The Wig, The Bitch & The Meltdown' 2020-08-04
- Jay Manuel has been many things, including an make-up artist and a creative director—and he is probably best known as taking on the latter role for several years on the reality-competition show America's Next Top Model. ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ John Waters, Billy Eichner, 'Trans & Nonbinary Kids Mix,' RuPaul 2020-07-27
- Gay filmmaker John Waters (Serial Mom; Hairspray) is the latest face of the French fashion brand Saint Laurent, noted. He appears in a suit from the brand with black shades, shot by David Sims. "My ...

Gay News

WORLD Zambia pardon, fashion house, HIV+ mayor, Costa Rica marriage 2020-06-01
- Zambia's president pardoned a gay couple sentenced to 15 years in prison in November under colonial-era sodomy laws in a case that caused a diplomatic conflict with the United States, Reuters reported. Japhet Chataba, 39, and ...

Gay News

Chicago artists virtually unveil mural honoring LGBTQ community 2020-05-27
- CHICAGO, IL — Chicago artists Andy Bellomo and Sandra Antongiorgi have virtually unveiled a new mural that highlights queer artists of color who use their life's work to improve community well-being and create social change. "Rebirth" ...

Gay News

Anne Steele, Kelli Carpenter raise funds for meals. Online concert April 29 2020-04-28
- Lesbian singer/ songwriter Anne Steele decided to start online concerts to lift the spirts of her fans, friends and family. While playing the "couch concerts" every Wednesday on Facebook Live, her wife, Kelli Carpenter, a travel ...

Gay News

NUNN ON ONE TELEVISION Tim Gunn on his new show that's a 'Cut' above 2020-04-24
- Television personality Tim Gunn continues to take over the world of reality shows with a brand-new offering on Amazon Prime Video called Making the Cut. Many will recognize the openly gay fashion advisor from Project Runway, ...

Gay News

Five Worth Finding: From an absorbing memoir to cool socks 2020-04-01
- —Ordinary Girls: A Memoir: In this hard-hitting memoir, Jaquira Diaz writes of struggling with depression and drug abuse while growing into her identity as a queer, biracial girl in Miami and Puerto Rico. And as Diaz ...

Gay News

ShOWBIZ 'Drag Race' judges, Dwyane Wade, 'Porgy,' Of Montreal, Cirque du Soleil 2020-02-18
- RuPaul Drag Race's season-12 guest judges consist of film, music, television, fashion and political figures such as Nicki Minaj, Whoopi Goldberg, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Chaka Khan, Robyn, Leslie Jones, Normani, Jeff ...

Gay News

FASHION 2020 Sneaker Gala shares message about local human trafficking 2020-02-17
- Sneakers brought together fashion enthusiasts at the 2020 Sneaker Gala this year, hosted at Loft on the Lake. The purpose of the fifth annual sneaker ball, however, wasn't just about who won best sneakers that evening. ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Lady Gaga, 'The L Word,' Bradley Cooper, 'Porndemic,' Tim Gunn 2020-02-05
- Lady Gaga's mother, Cynthia Germanotta, recently shared her side of the bullying and subsequent depression that her daughter experienced in middle school, noted. "In middle school, because she was unique, she started experiencing a lot ...

Gay News

The Collection hosting Agha exhibit 2020-01-07
- The Collection: Where Art Meets Fashion—the multifaceted contemporary art program located within Fashion Outlets Chicago, in Rosemont—announced the unveiling of the program's latest site-specific installation, by Pakistani artist Anila Quayy ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.