Have you ever thought when and how prints made their way into men’s innerwear? It may not have been a big thing in the past, but as early as about 15 years ago, prints started showing up in men’s briefs. Crusoe was the first one to include prints in their collection and consistently churned out a range with a variety of them. VIP, Chromosome, Playboy, Jockey, etc., all did prints, but only sporadically; none of them were regular in coming up with a collection based on prints in men’s underwear. However, since about 2005-2006, almost all leading brands in men’s innerwear started coming out with a range with different prints as the user got increasingly discerning and open to experimentation. Men’s undergarments have undergone a sea change through the years with different patterns, styles and designs making their way to this essential garment. And, prints have finally got into the underwear business thanks to every style-conscious gent out there who is always seeking out new options. The Spring / Summer 2018 print trends are both inspiring and interesting with patterns that really flatter the figure and control the flow of the eye.
So, what is the inspiration for brands while deciding the prints in their Spring / Summer range?
Mr Parveen Kumar Sharma, General Manager, Undercolors, Benetton India Pvt. Ltd., says, “The season of bank holiday mini-breaks and long weekends away is not nearly as distant as it currently feels and our new collection has been carefully curated to offer everything you could possibly need to pack in your suitcase for a beach holiday. For this season our design team has developed a collection taking inspiration from nautical prints. Play with stripes with our classic nautical to variegate stripe trunk and briefs. Traditional nautical colour palette with pops of red and fresh yellow youthful underwear offers a classic cut and nice fit, which adds an evergreen feel.”
While Mr Sadashiv Shetty, Senior Manager, Killer, on the other hand says, “The inspiration behind the latest spring/ summer 18 Collection from Killer Innerwear is the hot weather conditions and to offset the heat we employ soothing colours, and our collection is based on cotton/ modal blends for a smoother comfortable feel for summer. All our collections are based on comfort and are always skin friendly. The Killer Innerwear comes in mid-rise fit with a natural waistline of two inches below the waist, which goes well with denims.”
Lux ONN believes in being mod and stylish in their new range. Says a spokesperson from the brand, “To fulfil the promise of bringing the best style inner wears, this season ONN is all set to impress the market with their stylish brief range Grande with the clear intent of capturing the A and A+ retailers. The ONN Grande range is strikingly modish with modern designs and patterns, which targets primarily the young generations.”
Dollar offers a mix of designs and colours for summer wear and Mr Vinod Kumar Gupta, MD, Dollar Industries Ltd. states, “The Spring and summer is all about light fabrics, bold patterns, and brighter colours. Summer 2018’s print and colours trends are both stirring and appealing with patterns and hues. Wearing bright colours with stripped, light fabrics with all over printed logos, zebra stripes with contrasting hues are exciting and amusing part of getting dressed in summer. This recent patterns and hues trend has inspired us to enrich the Summer / Spring 2018 Collection of our house of Force NXT.
Also, Dollar’s style brief and trunk is made of super comber cotton yarn with elastane stretch fabric. It’s an all over printed design with maximum support and comfort underwear and is available in various assorted prints.
Mr Pritesh Savla, Head, Business Intelligence, Oban Fashions Pvt. Ltd., while speaking for FCUK Underwear says, “Our concept is based across brand carriers, geometrical, abstract, and paisley prints. We have picked up colours from the palette of blue, purple, green, and black.”
Mr Praveen Reddy, Managing Partner, Sri SR Mill, of Playboy brand strongly believes that there can’t be bigger and better inspiration than Hugh Hefner, his life and his philosophy, and that is what reflects in all their product designs. For Spring / Summer 2018 Playboy has a complete new range in line, featuring a repertoire of new styles, designs and prints.
V-Star’s latest collection for the Spring / Summer season is premium and fashion. The inspiration behind the range is nature and the prints are youth focussed and attractive. Says, Sheela Kochouseph, Managing Director, V-Star Creations Pvt. Ltd., “Our brand’s approach to design is to meet the international look and feel; our aspiration is always to achieve the same through our products as well as through branding. Geometrical, floral and nature-oriented prints in vibrant colours have always been attractive to the youth. Our brand’s most popular print has always been geometrical based prints, for e.g., our style ‘French’, is always one among the favourite styles of the youth, which comes with prints and stripes.”
Mr Pritesh Savla, while stating for Fruit of the Loom mentions, “Our concept is based on disruptive patterns which have been utilised across linear graphics, tribal, nautical and brand carrier’s prints. We have picked up bright colours from the palette of blue, orange, red and green.
This season Jack & Jones urges you to add some colour to your basics with their men’s innerwear collection that gives your style a new look, says a spokesperson from the brand. So, they have some briefs and Brazilian Trunks and boxers that urge you to add some style and colour to your innerwear with new designs, inspired and conceptualised in Denmark.
The men’s innerwear market is ever evolving and the youth is almost always the deciding factor and the reason for the onset of trends. Today, the millennials are exposed to global fashion trends in every way more than ever and their choices and define the change in trends in innerwear as well. Paper prints, we observed, have been around for quite some time and quite popular with the new generation. So that’s one trend, which looks like is here to stay. Also, buyers look for something new each time along with the older designs and hence brands too cater to these changing demands.
“With the changing scenario, the premium innerwear market has witnessed some major changes in consumer’s preferences. Increasing liberalisation and more fashion awareness among people is triggering the growth in the industry. Nowadays, consumers seek best quality designer inner wear, which would provide both, a stylish look and utmost comfort to them. Soft and subtle designs like contrast colour elastic band with side colour stripes is among one of the famous trends that is attracting the youth today,” says the spokesperson from Lux Onn.
“Since youth today are associated with fun and carefree attitude so they prefer more of quirky and unconventional prints, which blends with their identity,” says Mr Savla for Fruit of the Loom and for Fcuk he states that consumers today prefer bold and quirky prints.
While Mr Parveen Kumar Sharma, General Manager, Benetton India Pvt. Ltd., Undercolors states, “Bold Stripes in varying widths with vibrant hues and floral patterns is what trending now for youngsters.”
Killer believes that Youthtonic prints and rebellion prints with vibrant colours are trending amongst the youth today.
Mr Reddy feels that, “Indian youth today is looking at innerwear as a fashion statement and not just willing, but looking forward to flaunting it provided it has originality, class, freshness and that subtle quirk quotient, rather than staid repetitive patterns. Youth are looking at bold colour contrasts and basically prints that bring out the fun and quirky side of underwear.”
Elaborating about what puts the Playboy brand in the fashion forward league in innerwear, Mr Reddy says, “Playboy’s UVP is that our brand imagery itself works for us as print. We have a treasure trove of proprietary prints featuring iconic symbols and personalities that have always been a hit with youngsters.”
“Prints and patterns are the latest fad. Presently stripes, abstracts and logos are making impressions all over the lace,” says Mr Gupta for Dollar.
Each brand today is vying to please the fashion-conscious users and in doing so, have their own unique prints that have gained popularity. Shedding light on what is preferred by consumers, Mr Sharma says, “Styles based on nautical print, which were popular last year and are popular this year as well.”
For Dollar, Mr Gupta states, “Zebra printed briefs and trunks and all over logo printed Style trunks and briefs from Flexz range are the popular prints offered by Force Nxt”
Lux Onn believes in having an international element to its designs. “From the very beginning, Onn believes is bringing international style to the country. All the designs under our fashion range Grande are inspired by world fashion trends, which are very popular among the youth. Because of their excellent innovative styling, supreme comfort and snug fit, ONN Grande gives the perfect look and feel that consumers yearn for,” says the brand’s spokesperson.
For Killer, checks plaid prints in briefs and boxers have been popular for a number of seasons. “These designs have been well accepted for their trendy look, style and comfortable fit and has been a popular choice with our customers both in the domestic market and export sector,” according to Mr Shetty.
On Playboy’s most popular print, Mr Reddy states, “It will be difficult to pinpoint one particular print among so many, as all have received a fantastic response from resellers and customers alike. Looking back, one of our most popular prints has been ‘Playboy Casino Print‘, which was relaunched last year after a substantial gap, on popular demand.”
Fcuk’s brand carrier prints are most popular and these are available across categories and these prints are also quite popular in the brand Fruit of the Loom.
The spokesperson for Jack & Jones says, “You can choose from a range of new prints in boxers such as Japan tiger, tropical fruits like watermelon popsicles and pineapple heads, etc.” Moreover, these 100 per cent boxers come with two side pockets and hidden elastics and offer the utmost comfort to tackle Indian summers.
Also, there are some quirky prints on offer such as comics and others that depict water sports, with surf boards in briefs besides, checks and stripes. Their Brazilian Trunks depict the sea and sunshine as well as the dragon in the prints add some spunk to the garment.
Styles, price and size
Brands not only cater to the prevailing trends and choices of consumers in prints, but also endeavour to offer comfort in terms of fabric as well as a stylish product. Explains the spokesperson from Lux Onn, “For most of our innerwear products, Onn uses 100 per cent rich combed cotton that is soft on skin and gives a contoured fit. The pique (PQ) fabric used in our product guarantees maximum stretch and ventilation for consumer’s comfort. Apart from their innovative designs and high quality materials, the availability of our products at very pocket-friendly prices in all size variations from XS to XXL makes Lux Onn standout among many different brands.”
With Jack & Jones you can choose from 100 per cent cotton or 95 percent cotton and 5 per cent elastane. New prints, stripes and checks, all come in 95 per cent cotton and 5 per cent elastane, while new colours are available in both options. These are priced at INR 399 for prints, stripes and checks; and INR 249 and 350 for single and double packs in 100 per cent cotton. Go trendy with trunks, which are available in new solid colours and stylised elastics. These are available in 95 per cent cotton and 5 per cent elastane and priced at INR 499.
V-Star’s styles are very much focussed on prints as well as soft in feel and best in comfort. Their style ‘French’ is a rocking marriage of style and comfort, comes in vibrant colours and prints and is made of 100 per cent combed cotton, superior cotton rib fabric and wider elastics. It is priced INR 189. Ms Sheela Kochouseph comments, “It’s vibrant and fashionable colours for the youth but with broad waistband, metallics in colours etc. The brand conscious youth who want to show off their innerwear brand will love this.”
Benetton’s ‘C’ series products are available in prints, says Mr Parveen Kumar Sharma. “These are available in stylish upgrades with modern patterns and designs with flying colours and great graphic print designs. The first designer underwear with modern trends, it keeps in mind the class and luxury. It is made up of 95 pr cent cotton and 5 per cent spandex. It’s available in bold colours at all Indian MBO’s, LFS and exclusive EBO’s. Sizes available are S-XL and the price range is INR 349 – 499.
Playboy believes in luxury with affordability and continues to offer the best in fashion and functionality to its fans. “Playboy Ultra Collection is an all-out designer, printed range made out of specially washed spandex fabric for extra comfort and luxurious feel. The collection comes in sizes small to extra-large and is priced between INR 250 to 299,”says, Mr Reddy.
What older men want
While brands maybe targeting the youth with their funky and new-age designs and styles, but the middle aged men too are getting more discerning and open to something different.
Mr Sharma states, “Men feel at liberty to experiment with their pants. Believe it or not, over the past few years’ men’s branded underwear collections have become increasingly colourful. Our basics such as blue, black, grey, white, etc. are fast runners, a slew of colours and prints in innerwear are in demand amongst all age groups. Benetton’s bold and floral colours like green, orange, yellows are trending and are in demand in the current year. Men in the age group of 38 and above definitely love to wear bright colours. They prefer stripes over prints.”
Killer also believes that mature men are now more fashion conscious and are open to printed styles and fabric blends like cotton/ modal.
Mr Savla, for Fruit of the Loom states, “The trend through the years across all fashion categories has evolved to prints and fashion colours. Men in the middle age segment have better purchasing power and hence they buy basic colours but also do not hesitate to buy prints and fashion colours.”
According to Mr Reddy the topic of colours and prints is rather subjective and cannot be compartmentalised into this or that. It really depends on individual choice and there are quite prominent regional and local preferences as well. “One needs to be completely in sync with the pulse of youth and their ever-evolving preferences in order to stand out and live up to their expectations,” he opines.
“As far as age goes, we believe in a philosophy that is ageless—that of Hugh Hefner who defied the concept of age and will live forever young in our minds and in the minds of his fans as well. Having said that, our designers take due cognizance of factors such as age and ergonomics for greater movement and comfort and that is what makes each one of our underwear ‘fashionably functional’. Our range includes styles and patterns that appeal not only to youngsters but to those not-so-young as well with their carefully conceptualised fashion appeal and ergonomics,” he adds.
Older men especially, for an Fcuk consumer, does not hesitate to buy prints and fashion colours, which are available in the hues of red, green, yellow, and bright blues,” opines Mr Savla.
Lux Onn spokesperson says that the days when only basic colours like black and brown were sold in the market are gone. “In today’s era, people prefer unique cuts, classy designs, pastel shades and earthly colours to fulfil their fashion desires irrespective of their age group,” he opines.
Mr Gupta is of the opinion that today’s men are looking for edginess even in their innerwear fashion. “They are leaning towards the performance-fabric, radiant colours and innovative patterns to replace their accustomed underwear,” he explains. “Earlier it was the monotones of white and grey, but now the colours have changed to off-white, melange, blue-atoll, fresh salmon, avocado, purple and many more including basic colours like black, blue, red, and yellow,” he mentions.
Adding, he states, “Men love experimenting with their underwear also. Moreover, there is no age for experimentation. Be it 40 or 20, stylish under-wears are always in vogue. Nobody would love to stick to the monotones. Even if it is not a logo printed or stripes sometimes, men in the age group of 38 and above definitely love to wear bright colours with light prints as well.”
Keeping up with changing times
Innovation, creativity, new ideas, etc., all play a huge part when it comes to designing a new range or collection, even in men’s underwear. And most brands take every factor into consideration while designing a new seasonal range. Besides, the constant demand for something fresh and new in innerwear has also helped the brands evolve over time.
Mr Gupta of Dollar goes on to state that urban India is a hub for the expansion of the innerwear industry. “The trend towards western outfits, combined with the demand for occasion and outfit-based innerwear served as an enhancement for the market. Innovation and experimenting with our product is a vital part of our business,” he adds.
International trends define Fcuk’s new selection of prints, which they add every six months. This, Mr Savla states, gives the customers wide range of selection to choose from.
While Benetton India Pvt. Ltd., being an Italy based brand, majorliy gets designs from there. “But, after a survey in the Indian market about the preferences, we merged the Italy guidelines with our Indian culture and created our new range for the Indian market,” mentions Mr Parveen Kumar Sharma.
Lux ONN’s spokesperson says that the brand makes sure that the design and feel of each product is completely different from the other. “As our brand believes in innovations and world style trends, each and every range of our brand are made after specific conceptualisation and designing in order to fall in line with the style and comfort requirements of today’s youth. Selections of colours and product style are also done according to the theme and essence of the entire range,” he explains.
“Right from the beginning our approach has been to create a trend with our designs rather than follow any existing trend. That is what our fans expect us to do and what is uppermost in our minds. We decide accordingly for the season in advance leveraging huge repository of prints and concepts that helps us remain forever fresh and happening. Playboy with its ever-evolving concepts has always been the industry’s forerunner,” says Mr Praveen Reddy.
Mr Shetty mentions that ‘Fashionable‘ is the F Word for Killer Innerwear. The eye for detail has helped our brand evolve exponentially since its inception,” he adds.
Fruit of the Loom too believes in regular change and Mr Savla explaining the brand’s strategy states, “Our approach is to add a new selection of prints every three months based on the forecasted trends, which will give the customers a wide range of selection to choose from.”
To sum up we can say that prints in underwear for men are trending in more ways than one. From geometrical to nature, to quirky, men are increasingly choosing printed underwear along with giving comfort and style importance as well. Moreover, we find that the younger generation loves international trends but merged with Indian culture adds a dash of glamour to fashionable prints. We also observed that brands, pandering to the demands of the buyers, quickly replenish their stocks with new prints.
TRENDS IN PRINTS
Geo prints come with a mix of details such as mosaic details and sharp lines available in various colours and configured shapes where the colours are more blended than juxtaposed.
If you’re dreaming of a summer vacation, this trend is for you. Men’s apparel designed with floral prints became a prominent style about a year ago. Embraced by the younger generation, modern floral prints took on the attitude of modern hipsters.
Tropical prints will never go out of style. This is one of the biggest trends that is very much still on a roll. The expected hibiscus flowers and palm leaves have really taken over much more than anyone anticipated. Another mix is the tropical floral prints, which are retro and these patterns allow men to feel masculine and confident while wearing a fun look.