When you are a man of a certain size (like me), shopping for good fitting underwear can be just as much of an issue as finding a shirt of pants that showcase the goods all in a great way. I ran into that particular issue last weekend when I was picked to be a Gogo Bear at Furball NYC, which happened during Pride Weekend at Space Ibiza last Friday night. I had some options readily available for myself however I didn’t like the way it fit me and the colors of them didn’t gravitate the eye the way they wanted to. Luckily, one of the sponsors for Furball NYC was this great clothing line called Bear Skn who also provided underwear for all the GoGo Bears for the evening. I tried mine on, which had a great green color to it, and was ecstatic with how it looked, felt and got me through the evening (If you are dying to see how it looks just go to my IG- @musiccub. #selfpromotion.)
With so many mainstream and gay underwear lines focusing on the muscled and chiseled dude, it can be difficult to navigate the world of boxers and briefs for the huskier and thick dudes who want to feel just as hot and sexy as the fit ones do. Bear Skn does exactly that. Their attention to detail when it comes to size, color and body type really shows and with a line of underwear that goes up to 6XL you can guarantee that you’ll be able to find something that fits you to perfection when you try it on.
I recently sat down with their fabulous owner Jody Koenig who explained to me about the history of Bear Skn, its hopeful future and honest thoughts about their competitors in the market right now. Take a look.
How did the concept of Bear Skn begin?
It all started when Co-Founder Bjorn R-G was a member of an underwear of the month club and wasn’t really getting anything to suit his needs. When there was a style he liked typically it wasn’t offered it in his size. We started asking our friends about their underwear and it became clear that there was a need for comfortable and stylish underwear for bigger guys.
Conceptually and design wise what was your original image for the brand?
At Bear Skn, we think of ourselves as craftsmen. While the tools of our trade may be a bit finer than a hatchet, we wanted an iconic logo that conveyed a sense of craftsmanship and masculinity. A hatchet is not merely a blunt tool. It can be also be used to shape something new. We think that Bear Skn has shaped something new that you will truly appreciate.
We started with our standard issue in basic colors black, red, green, blue, and a purple. Then for our premium Backwoods Button down that features the classic buffalo check print. The backwoods really shows the masculine image that we want for the brand.
The name too, how did you come up with that, in particular the spelling of SKN?
We went through a number of different names actually. We tried using our initials but that sounded more like a law firm than a men’s clothing brand. The name “Bjorn” actually means “Bear.” It worked out that it was a fun name that had a great image, and still had personal elements to it. We continued to play around with the name but the SKN spelling came down to what was available as a URL.
What are the options of apparel you can get?
Currently Bear Skn is focused on underwear. We have a brief, trunk and soon to be released boxer brief style. We listened to feedback on our first line and made the adjustments that our customers we asking for. Bear Skn also has plans for socks, loungewear, shorts, swimwear to mention a few.
Do you find bears are still underrepresented when it comes to clothing options in the community?
For a larger man, finding a good fit can be difficult. There are options out there, but you really have to dig and try things that maybe your not use to. There are not many brands that focus on providing new and stylish looks for this size range. You are limited to one outdated look.
What’s your opinion on well known gay clothing labels such as Andrew Christian and Nasty Pig? Do you think they miss the mark when it comes to men of a certain size?
I think they are serving their market very well. As a business you have to find your ideal customer and market directly to them, they have found their group and going after it. That’s where Bear Skn comes in to focus the men of size!
What is next for the Bear Skn brand?
The main focus for us is on growing the breath of our product line and getting into more retail locations. We see more fun colors and introducing more interesting new style.
For more information on Jody’s fantastic line, check out their official website. Right in time for the upcoming Bear Week in Provincetown as well! Happy Shopping everyone!