I spoke today with world renown fashion designer, Andrew Christian about his clothing line and how he started his business after growing up in Fresno...
Andrew Christian is a former Fresno native who decided to do whatever was necessary to live his dream of being a fashion designer. At the tender age of 19, just out of high school, he knew he had to be in the big city. "At the time I felt like I couldn't do what I wanted to do in Fresno."
With just $500 he packed up and moved to Los Angeles, where he started working for others in the industry in order to learn the trade.
"Now, I would have never done it," he says, "But when you're that young you don't really think about everything that can go wrong. I just always sort of landed on my feet. I met the right people and almost immediately started working."
He immersed himself in the fashion world and made connections that forged his future. "Every job I got working for other people was basically through networking, this person knows that person, and being around the fashion scene."
In 1997 he started his own company and started producing the Andrew Christian clothing line. Initially focusing on outerwear and accessories, in recent years it's Andrew's underwear line which has taken off and become his calling card.
"Andrew Christian's been around for 10 years. My underwear line has just been around for about 3 years. That was the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place with my line and it's really what took off and people identify with and love."
Andrew's underwear designs are bold, edgy and innovative. Compared to the normally non-descript and mundane world of men's underwear, his designs include splashy colors, symbols, artwork and logos. There are pieces inspired by a few iconic images of interest to gay men in particular, such as Lifeguard, Police Dept. and Phys Ed . "I have fun with the underwear and don't take it too seriously. I bring a lot of the design concepts I use in my sportswear into my underwear. The lifeguard stuff is a play off my logo, which is the cross, and the cross is a play off my last name, Christian."
Christian's designs also utilize some innovative fabrics you might not think of in relation to underwear, such as bamboo fiber, sports mesh and baby thermal. "The reason I use Bamboo fiber is because it's extremely soft and comfortable. It's also a very eco-friendly fiber. "
His line can be found in exclusive boutiques, such as Kitson Men (Los Angeles), Fred Segal (Los Angeles), and Patricia Field (New York), and attracts high profile clients like David Hasselhoff and Dean McDermott. Andrew has hopes to get his clothing in other, more mainstream retailers. "I'm talking with a few chains now. It's not as easy as it sounds. It's a long road." Andrew's clothing is also available online. Andrew Christian Official Website
Unique is a perfect word for Andrew's underwear line. Besides the bold visual style, he's also dedicated to helping men "enhance their profiles" with items such as the Almost Naked Brief , and his number one best seller, the Flashback , which has the added feature of a butt lift. "It came out of necessity, basically. I was at the gym and watching how hard people were working out doing lunges and squats trying to achieve the perfect bum. So I thought wouldn't it be great if I could come up with a pair of underwear that just did that automatically. So after a little tinkering, I came up with the Flashback underwear."
That's not the last word on "enhancements" in Andrew's pieces. "We're getting ready to introduce new pieces, which have package enhancement in the front. That's going to be coming out in the next few weeks, and what's better about this product than other enhancement products, is that there's no assembly required. There's no straps, you just put it on and it does it automatically."
After a lot of interest from females in his underwear, Andrew's now branched out with a Women's Line. "It started out with the men's underwear and then I had so many women coming up to me and saying those are so cute, I wish you had those for women, so I decided to come out with some of that."
In a tough market, designers have to constantly be focusing on the "next thing", which is something Andrew particularly enjoys. "You definitely have to keep up by coming up with new designs, but I have a short attention span so I'm coming up with new stuff all the time. I'm always moving on to the next, newest thing."
Last year, Christian appeared on some episodes of The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency , as well as creating a stir with his Obama Underwear , from which he donated $1 per pair to Barack Obama's Presidential Campaign. Christian is also known for his Fashion Shows and events at nightclubs.
"We do club events all over the world. Every weekend we're doing something. The club events definitely work well. People get to actually see the products in person, and they get a feel for the brand."
What's coming up for Andrew Christian? "We're coming out with new swimwear this year, including a Flashback swim suit, which has the butt lifting in it, as well as a Show It swim suit, which is brand new, which has the package enhancer in the front. So we're expanding on the concepts in the underwear and transferring that to the swim wear."
To view Andrew Christian's line of clothing, as well as downloading a catalog or checking out picture galleries and videos, use the following links...
Visit the Andrew Christian Gallery Page
for picture galleries and videos of catalog shoots, etc.