No matter who you are, where you’re from, you all need one thing — underwear. It’s the foundation of every outfit we wear, so it’s important for it to be comfortable. PSD is a company that specializes in just that — premium, affordable underwear made by and built for athletes, trendsetters, or people who just really love underwear.
So what’s so special about it? We sat down with Curt Flaitz, co-founder/president at PSD Underwear to find out what makes their product one of a kind.
How did you become inspired to create an underwear company?
My brother and I were broke college kids who could only afford one pair of Calvin Klein underwear to wear out on Friday nights. We saw the underwear category was really untouched and had no ceiling of how big it could grow.
I graduated with a marketing background and loved business so we decided to try and fill this void by taking this big opportunity to create a brand that was different from anything else out there.
How did you get your name out there to start growing your brand?
The company started in 2007 in upstate New York when my brother and I spent our life savings to buy this old RV. We sanded it down, painted it black, and put our logo on it. We didn’t know exactly what we wanted to do, but we knew we had to get out there.
We quit our jobs and hit the road like a circus. We drove as far as we could without breaking down—going to car shows, hot dog festivals, college basketball games and more. Eventually we made contact with our first athlete, Stevie Johnson, who at the time played for the Buffalo Bills. He scored a touchdown and lifted up his shirt so you could see our waistband. It was on ESPN and Sports Illustrated. From there, we started to be recognized more and more.
What does PSD stand for?
The original artist, Ryan was in Palm Springs on a cross country tour for inspiration. He kept a sketch pad with him and came up with Palm Springs Design and the slogan “Wear Your Life.” But as the underwear category took on its own focus, people started calling it “Pants Sagging Design.” Going back to 2007, people were sagging their pants and that was the style — you saw people’s underwear more. However, in the last seven to eight years it really grew into just “PSD.”
How do you select your athletes, or do they select you?
The biggest asset and the most powerful thing for PSD is the athletes truly connect with the brand. For example, Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler wore the brand before becoming a part of the company. They approached us and asked how to get involved. Anybody with money can endorse athletes as long as they write the check. We have the opposite — these guys organically, emotionally connect with the brand.
I always say Stevie Johnson validated our program and got the word out there. He was buddies with Matt Barnes who was friends with Snoop Dogg, and from there it was a trickle effect. Then Mike Miller wore them in the locker room when he was with the Miami Heat. Everyone on the Heat wanted a pair — LeBron, Dwade, etc. The top guys who influence the sports world are now wearing our brand organically.
I’ve noticed that you have a lot of basketball and football players wearing you brand. What other types of athletes adopt the PSD life?
Jason Duffner is a good friend of the brand, and he’s in the golf world. We also work with Denny Hamlin who is a NASCAR driver and we have a license with True Timber, which is a camo company partnered by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
There are some UFC fighters who wear our underwear during weigh-ins before a fight. One of our big followings is also in action sports like skateboarding and motocross. We even have a monster truck driver who loves and wears our brand as well.
That’s the coolest part of what we do. Our brand is not pigeonholed to a certain category or person. Everyone wears and needs them.
Where do the design ideas originate? And do the athletes have a big part in designing their own signature series?
The design ideas usually originate with the athletes. For example, Kyrie Irving brings back inspiration from all of his travels, his personal life and what he sees in fashion. Athletes basically travel for a living, so they see fashion all over the world. So the athletes bring in inspiration and work with our designers to bring their ideas to life. They help them tailor these collections to really fit them and their personalities.
What separates your underwear from other companies?
Today people want more out of their underwear. It can’t just be cotton or a certain cut. It’s a premium fabric and waistband with a cool design. We were able to develop the perfect athleisure pair to allow you to fit your lifestyle. If you’re not active, you’re just buying it for the design and comfort. At the same time, if you are athletic, you are in motion — you can play basketball in it and don’t need to change into your compression shorts. It’s a functional pair of underwear outside of it just being a pair of underwear.
They’re also affordable. We want people to be able to have 7-10 pairs, so we worked out the correct fabric, the right feel, and produced a premium product at a nice price. Now everyone can have more than just one or two and collect them like they do shoes and socks.
How do you promote people to “Wear Your Life”?
“Wear Your Life” really started from the fact that you could be wearing a suit and tie, and still have cheetah underwear on. You’re still expressing yourself without the rest of the world really knowing it. It’s like when the sock industry began. If a guy wore a black suit with red socks and when they crossed their legs in a meeting you go ‘holy cow, this guy is bold’ because he’s wearing red socks with a black suit. That goes along with the same feel with what we’ve been doing. You might be out in a fashionable outfit, but you could be really expressing yourself and your day underneath.
We want you to open your underwear drawer and get to decide what kind of day it is, every day.
So there you have it — two underwear entrepreneurs set out in an RV and filled the underwear void by bringing us some of the coolest designs out there from world-class athletes.
It’s time for you to “Wear Your Life” and snag a pair to start your collection.