Whether by stand-up comics or our own grandfathers, hardly a day passes when we’re not cheekily reminded of the inevitable things in life – death, taxes, and maybe a decent fiber supplement on down the road. Sexy, they’re not. Leave it to a Texan, however, to transform one of life’s barest essentials into a hot commodity.
Jake Joseph, 33, is a proud graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, with over a decade of high-profile branding and sales experience under his belt. Think fine wine, luxury spirits, and a certain market-dominating energy drink. When it came time to strike out on his own, the Houston resident applied his eye for quality and presentation to that most practical of products: underwear.
Starting in 2009, Joseph began researching fabrics, manufacturing, and design, eventually launching his eponymous line of men’s boxers, briefs, and trunks. Made to last, each Jake Joseph product is tested to the tune of a hundred washes and wears. Tackling even more of life’s little issues, the shorts also eliminate bunching and wedgies.
The attention Joseph paid to a man’s most ubiquitous wardrobe item paid off. He has earned accolades from Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness magazines, among other pubs and blogs. His tagline, “For him, loved by her,” also inspired a playfully racy campaign (photos featured herein).
Fast forward to January 21, 2014, and the young entrepreneur hit Kickstarter to raise funds to grow and improve his business. Some $15,000-plus has already been pledged in a scant eight days. As the campaign moves forward, we questioned Jake Joseph about – what else? – underwear and sexy photo shoots.
DFW Style Daily: We must start with the inevitable question – how did a handsome young Texan like yourself decide to get into the underwear business? Do you have a background in design?
Jake Joseph: “Thank you. I don’t actually have a design background; my degree was in corporate communications. However, I love selling things I believe in, and I thought, what would I be proud to put my name on and improve as well? Underwear was the first thing to come to mind. Everyone wears it – well almost everyone – and I think it’s important to spend your day in something that is comfortable, fits well, and looks good. “
What sets Jake Joseph underwear apart from the standard men’s three-pack at our local stores?
“We emphasize quality and workmanship. To me, design isn’t just creating something that looks good; it’s also finding a solution to a problem. [Jake Joseph products] were designed to last longer, both in terms of fit, and good looks.”
Describe the Jake Joseph client. For whom is your product created?
“The Jake Joseph client is any and everyone. We all come in different shapes and sizes. It is important to make a product that anyone can feel great in.”
Your campaign art is eye-catching, to say the least. Was it your idea to dress beautiful women in Jake Joseph underwear? Why?
“The campaign idea came to me even before I had a sample. Women actually buy the majority of men’s underwear. Ultimately, it is an elegant and tasteful way to capture the eyeballs and emotions of anyone who comes into contact with our brand.”
Your Kickstarter campaign is picking up momentum by the day. What prompted you to utilize this platform to raise money for Jake Joseph?
“The Kickstarter audience is an overflow of people who appreciate creativity, and I wanted to reach and work with those people. Plus, the platform provides an amazing opportunity to illustrate our product experience and ideas for the future.”
How much do you hope to raise in total? How, specifically, will the Kickstarter funds be utilized within your company?
“[We hope to raise] as much as possible! Getting funded would allow us to achieve a price point closer to what customers are used to paying for underwear, and also to expand our current product offerings.”
If you could choose any celebrity as your spokesperson, who would you choose?
“Kate Beckinsale, for her incandescence; Jon Kortajarena, as the ever-cool guy who never has a bad hair day; or Justin Timberlake, because he is both stylish and intelligent. Also, it would be awesome to highlight other bright people as well, possibly a CEO or an American hero.”
Finally, when you’re not working, how do you like to spend a free afternoon or evening in your home city?
“Poscol is one of my favorite places. They have awesome wines and the best coffee in Houston.”
For more information, stockists, and a link to Kickstarter, visit JakeJosephCo.com. All images, courtesy of Jake Joseph.