Nobody Took These Guys Seriously. Now Even Amazon Is Copying Them
Six years ago I met an ex-banker pal for drinks at Rose Bar in the Gramercy Hotel.
He was exuberant.
He’d poached the head of design from Lululemon for his start-up. He was making super high-end athleisure wear from a brand guys would be proud to wear.
I was convinced, but also four glasses of scotch deep. You could have sold me on snake oil. He stuffed a sample pair of shorts in my bag as I stammered up to my room. He called them Birddogs.
I put them on the next day to work out in the hotel gym and purposefully left them on for a round of golf. They looked and felt so good I wore them again for cocktails on the Gansevoort rooftop. A bit gross I know, but these things were extremely comfortable.
I wrote him an email on the flight saying I wanted to invest. Apparently, I was the only one. Nobody was giving my underwear shorts pal any money. So he bootstrapped it and built the company himself.
Fast forward to today and the world is obsessed with underwear shorts.
Even Amazon joined the party with their own knockoff Birddogs. Bezos is notorious for recognizing great consumer products and replicating them inside Amazon. My guess is Bezos wore a pair yachting in the morning and refused to take them off come dinnertime. Exactly my experience minus the $500 million dollar boat.
I’m still friends with the founder to this day and he says the underwear shorts business is booming. The world is finally waking up to Birddogs, I called it in 2015.
John LeFevre is the creator of @GSElevator, the founder of a fashion line, and the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Straight To Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, And Billion-Dollar Deals, currently in development as a major motion picture.