Undercover Guys celebrates the 40-year history of International Male & Undergear. The world’s largest men’s fashion catalogs impacted the way we dressed, our social culture, the rights we earned and the way we live. Did the company sometimes push too far? Yes. And that was the point. IM founder, Gene Burkard’s motto was “never get respectable.” IM was an unapologetic quarterly jolt. And a life preserver in a sea of bland.
Me? I’m an advertising creative director in Miami. And I’ve shared some stylists and models with IM over the years. I enjoyed the catalogs and confess to buying my fair share of gear. I’m not some insane IM fan, but I appreciate the work that went into those catalogs and websites. Within a month of the final UG site going “under construction,” I noticed that Google and Bing search results for “International Male” and “Undergear” began to weaken. And there it was: 40 years of dynamic imagery started to vanish.
So I began cataloging as much of this info as possible before this content disappeared. I’ve learned a lot and had some fun along the way. I wasn’t a great expert on the subject to start, but I now have more than enough content to fill 100 e-zines and a couple of interesting tales to share. Together, we can have some fun reflecting on some of the outrageous Fashion Violations while appreciating the undeniable aesthetic contributions.
Undercover Guys e-zines feature top IM & UG cover models and a glimpse into the era they represent. The UCG masthead combines the flavor of the 90’s-era UG and IM logos from the big-budget golden age for both catalogs. Inside each issue are photo-essays and a brief bio for each model. To honor the beloved printed catalogs, our photo galleries are digital flip books. I hope you enjoy them and join me in keeping the legacy of all of these models, photographers, stylists and designers alive.
– Undercover Guy