Disturbing foreign trend of the moment that threatens to erode the American way of life: Evolution of the luxury men's underwear market. It seems that fashion brands have decided to use sophisticated advertising techniques to persuade American men to buy underwear that is new, expensive, and not sold in 3-packs at stores whose names end in "Mart." Oh, that's a good thing, you say? We could stand to be a little more stylish down there? What's a few more dollars to impress your significant other when you drop your drawers? See how enthusiastic you are when you wake up one day in the not-too-distant future and realize that we are slowly being morphed into Australian man-whores. (Warning: close-ups of clothed packages after the jump)
Witness the strands of the thread come together into a bleak picture of the future. Armani is counting on huge billboards of metrosexual nominal soccer star David Beckham to boost its underwear sales in America by more than $100 million. Dolce & Gabanna is using naked images to sell underwear, a strategy whose logic resides only in the mind of the fashion elite.
Both of these campaigns are aiming to sell tightie whities, mind you. It's not like Calvin Klein trotting out Marky Mark to sell us slightly more fashionable boxers, simply providing men with one more place to show off a brand name. No, these companies want our underwear shrunken, white, and easily dirtied, so as to necessitate replacement more often. And they're succeeding. Selfridge's in London said that sales of briefs more than doubled after the Beckham ads started running. If it can happen there, it can certainly happen in LA.
Not even regular brands like Jockey are safe havens. That downmarket, everyman company is trying to pass itself off as an upscale choice to the poor people of India, and is even rolling out a "super-premium range" of underwear in the near future. So at the same time luxury briefs are coming in, our own cheap underwear is raising its standards. There are few places left to hide.
The most terrifying front of this war is Australia, where men are already so far gone that they are expected to enthusiastically purchase the forthcoming Wonderbum,"designed to plump the behinds of 'all the flat-arsed men out there.'" Well. It may already be too late for Australia. Here, according to The Age, are some actual hot-selling products that the male population there buys, as it climbs Ayers Rock with a pet dingo or whatever:
The Wonderjock, the "male equivalent of the Wonderbra."
The C-In2 Contour Pouch Brief with "profile-enhancing" Y-front. "Y" is for yuck.
The Cin2 Bamboo Mesh Racer Brief, for the Tarzan in you.
We beg you: do not allow yourself to be mesmerized by the perceived sexiness of these products. Think of the men. Underwear is one of our final refuges from the rampaging gods of luxury. America is not David Beckham; America is Ralph Kramden. And nobody wants to see Ralph Kramden's jock, wonder or otherwise.