It seems like Andrew Christian is everywhere these days. I turn on my TV and he is buying a second home in Puerto Vallarta on “House Hunters International,” he is appearing as a special guest on RuPaul’s Drag Race (not to mention his undies on the pit crew), or seen enjoying all West Hollywood has to offer around his WeHo Boutique. I sat down with Andrew Christian to learn more about how he has grown his business into one of the TOP underwear brands around. (Make sure to check out his sexy viral video on YouTube; it really made me want to wash my car … really!)
David Rae: When did you start your clothing line?
Andrew Christian: I started my collection in 1997 in a small garage I was renting and actually living in. Starting a clothing line was quite a struggle in the beginning.
DR: What was it that motivated you to start your clothing line?
AC: I really wanted to explore my artistic vision and aesthetic of fashion. It was really cool at an early age to discover I could make money doing something I really loved.
DR: Follow your passion and money will follow, as they say. Everyone knows you make sexy underwear but how did you get started in the apparel business?
AC: I’m a technically trained patternmaker, so that’s how I started in the business to pay the bills until I was about to finally start my own company.
DR: What is your favorite thing about designing your clothing line? Is there one thing that makes you want to continue designing new collections?
AC: My favorite thing about designing clothing is bringing joy to someone’s life. If I can design something that makes a person feel more confident or feel more sexy then I think I’ve done my job.
DR: We all want to feel sexy and you always bring the sexy. Which of your current collections is your favorite?
AC: My favorite new collection is my Vibe underwear. It’s underwear that is designed for gym or sports use. I use it all the time when I train in the gym. I also just introduced Vibe sportswear that is very gym-friendly.
DR: Great idea. It seems that many people today are more fashionable when heading to the gym than walking down the street. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. But what inspired you to create a sportswear line that includes track suits and training shorts?
AC: My sportswear collection is really items that I like to wear on a daily basis.
DR: Now in its tenth year, Compete is all about sports and the role it plays in bringing together the gay and straight communities. Is there a professional swimmer you would like to see model Andrew Christian swimwear?
AC: I would love to have Marcelo Chierighini of Brazil model Andrew Christian swimwear. He has the body and face of a god.
DR: Well hello there, readers. Do yourself a favor and Google Marcelo Chierighini – we’d like to see him wearing practically anything. On a similar note Andrew, which professional athlete would you like to see model Andrew Christian underwear?
AC: I would love to see David Boudai wearing a pair of Andrew Christian. All I have to say is “hunk.”
DR: I prefer his diving partner Steele Johnson. Of course, I’m still waiting to run into Tom Daley running around Los Angeles sometime with his fiancé, Dustin Lance Black. With all this focus on sports, did you play sports in high school or college, Andrew?
AC: I did not play sports in high school or college; I was more the nerdy marching band type.
DR: I feel you. I played football but eventually ended up in the chorus. Advantages both ways, but music is more fun. Jumping ahead to today, are you now playing any sports?
AC: I don’t play any sports currently. But I am very active at the gym and enjoy doing yoga and hiking on the weekends.
DR: That sounds great and healthy. Do you have a favorite sport?
AC: I really enjoy watching men’s gymnastics. It’s pretty incredible what the human body can do.
DR: Let’s get some of those gymnasts into or out of your clothing. Which sports team is your favorite?
AC: The LA Dodgers. It’s my hometown and I also can’t resist a Dodger Dog.
DR: Who is your favorite professional athlete?
AC: Mark Sanchez, the Jets quarterback.
DR: Gotta’ love the former USC quarterbacks, but I’m biased.
(Editor’s note: David’s father is Mike Rae, quarterback for the 1972 national champion USC team and a 12-year NFL veteran player.)
DR: Do you have a favorite clothing designer?
AC: I would have to say Karl Lagerfeld is my favorite designer of all time. He has been so influential on the fashion world in addition to being a pop icon.
DR: Check out his book, “The Karl Lagerfeld Diet.” It contains great insights into aging well. Would you like to design uniforms for a professional sports team?
AC: It would be super awesome to design uniforms for a sports team. It would be a challenging project but so much fun.
DR: What did you think of Ralph Lauren’s Olympic-wear designs for the summer games in Rio?
AC: I think the uniforms were very well done – they’re classic Americana.
DR: Life seems to be going well for you. I see you’ve purchased a second home in Puerto Vallarta. What does the future hold for Andrew Christian, personally?
AC: I’m just enjoying the path that life is taking me on and the great friends I have in my life.
DR: What does the future hold for Andrew Christian, the business?
AC: A continued focus on men’s underwear. But I plan to expand into other product categories and I am also working on an art book.
DR: It will be fun to see what you come up with next, Andrew. Thanks so much for talking with me.
By David Rae
2011 Compete Athlete of the Year
David Rae is a certified financial planner and 2011 Compete Athlete of the Year who lives in Los Angeles with his husband and two Chihuahuas. www.financialplannerla.com
Photos courtesy of Andrew Christian