Finding a pair of men’s underwear that offer comfort and style has never been an easy task (and if you’ve lived with a man for any length of time, you’ll know that unfortunately comfort usually wins out over style). Apparently some men find what’s on offer so inadequate for housing their prized possessions that they don’t bother to wear any at all!
Bondi resident Marc Debnam was one of those men who preferred to hang loose rather than wrap his wobbly bits in something substandard. After having an epiphany that his tackle would need some hoisting one day, he set about with his partner Lenny to create a range of luxe undies that any man would be proud to house their family jewels in.
The Stonemen brand was born in a Bondi garage in 2007 and quickly went global. Stonemen’s 360 degree wrap around images are now hugging, tucking and lifting stylish men and women’s intimate zones in 40 countries. Their success comes from offering a unique product that incorporates art, technology and comfort (as well as creating a breathtaking canvas on your sexy bits). They describe their underwear as ‘nature’s line extension’, or the next best thing to slipping on your birthday suit.
I recently caught up with Marc from Stonemen to get the brief on the brand.
What was the inspiration behind the Stonemen brand?
We believe if it’s something you wear every day, all the more reason to make it special.
As a man who didn’t see the need for wearing underwear, I was shown the flip side when sitting quietly drinking my piccolo latte on the North end of Bondi Beach. An elderly gentleman was doing some stretches not far from me. Every time he did a stretch his testicles would drop below his short hemline. I realised that gravity would eventually get me, so I headed off to DJ’s but was appalled by the selection. As a photographer I thought ‘Hey wouldn’t it be great to put images on undies’. A year later I had 3,000 pairs of underwear in my garage and a website to display them on.
What are your passions and where does your inspiration come from?
My partner Lenny and I both come from photographic backgrounds and met in a studio. We have two great kids together and run the business from our home studio. When we have spare time, which is seldom, we hit the beach. Inspirations for me are everywhere. People I know, people I follow online, great design and the great outdoors.
Where did you make your first sale?
We launched from our garage in 2007 via our own website and at Bondi Markets. The product was well received globally, but especially in the US and Europe. Now we have PR agents in Australia and the US and our social media followers are from all over the world.
How do you find the artists that you collaborate with?
I suppose we stumble upon them. We see work we like and give them a call. It’s not often that someone gets to see their work on a well made pair of underwear, so we either collaborate for a new piece of art or use an existing piece. It is usually a win-win for both parties as we give them global exposure through our Social Media channels and blog.
What has been your favourite collaboration to date and why?
‘The Deep Sea’ by Corey Arnold. This guy is usually on Alaskan fishing boats as he is a fisherman by trade, but he is also an amazing photographer. I saw one of his shots online and read about him and thought ‘yes’. I called him, we chatted, and now his image is our best-selling design.
What are your most popular prints?
They all sell well, but the Horses, New York and The Deep Sea sell the best. They reflect adventure and escapism, and give the design an emotional connection.
Tell me a bit about the innovations you use to bring these images to life
Without getting technical on the process, we utilise the latest in digital printing technology. Our underwear is very tricky to make. We have a 360 degree image that seamlessly goes through the panels on cotton fabric. Cotton is very unstable so each pair is hand cut and made.
What is it that your customers love most about your products?
The uniqueness of design, the artists we work with, the images that we choose and that they are also very comfortable.
What’s next for Stonemen and how do you keep the range fresh?
Coming up soon we have a new style of underwear, women’s bras and men’s swimwear. Our main focus will be on more collaborations and designs.
It’s good to know that Bondi is helping to keep some of the world’s most treasured possessions both comfortable and stylish!
Check out the rest of their range at www.stonemen.com
Tracey @ What’s New Bondi xx