Norfolk designer April Spring knew that she was moving into a saturated lingerie market when she started making women’s underpants last year. But she had an
idea for a product that she thought might have a chance. It combines the traditional elastic bands of men’s boxers with silky and lacy thongs, panties and
boy-shorts. Her hunch paid off when her company, Foxers, sold out of its entire inventory just three months after arriving in stores in June 2007.
“This is really a new breed of underwear,” says Spring, 48, who previously owned a vintage clothing store and has dreamed of being in fashion design since
the age of 10. “The whole look is completely different than anything out there. It’s comfortable, casual, sexy and fun.”
Foxers underpants, which sell for $22 to $42, also fill a functional gap, thanks to the ongoing fashion trend of low-rider pants, which sit below (sometimes
well below) the waist. “These are really an antidote to a problem whereby people no longer have to worry about whether their underwear or their backsides are
sticking out,” Spring says.
Foxers has four full-time and two part-time employees. It makes its products in Malaysia and Virginia Beach. The company sold 4,000 pairs of underpants in
2007 and expects to sell 10,000 pairs this year, generating more than $250,000 in revenue.
Sales have been helped by celebrities who have been spotted wearing Foxers. A photograph of singer and actress Beyoncé wearing a pair was published in
InTouch magazine last March.
Foxers recently expanded its product line to include baby-doll pajama tops that can double as minidresses, bathing suits and men’s underwear.
Deals recently put in place with larger distributors will send Foxers sales projections off the charts in 2009, says Spring. “We initially thought we’d hit
$1 million, but we expect to blow that out of the water.”
In November, Dillard’s Department Store kicked off a product launch of Foxers underwear in 28 stores, and Spring now is negotiating with three other chains.
The company also holds the apparel contract for the Lingerie Football League, a new football league whose women players will be dressed in lingerie.