All about the underwear.
People are interested in why I started a clothing company. My answer is that I had it all, I lost it all, and I am trying to gain it all back. Let me tell you the story.
I am the most photographed male underwear model of all time. Throughout the United States, I modeled for many companies, including Amazon, Nordstrom, Eddie Bauer, Tommy Bahama, and many others. Then, I traveled the world, standing in front of the camera in my underpants in Mexico City, Milan, Ireland, and elsewhere. My very first underwear shoot was for the Kirkland Signature Brand at Costco, and they bought exclusive lifetime rights to the images, which helped me pay for college. I am still on their packaging—smart move Costco!!! If you want to purchase a reliable pair of whitey tighties underwear, look for the package of me doing the classic Rodin’s “Thinker” pose, complete with my hand on my chin.
I went on to model underwear for many high-profile brands like Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Andrew Christian, ExOfficio, C-IN2, 2(X)IST, and the list goes on and on. I currently have over 5000 pairs of underwear in my garage that are underwear samples I modeled for all of these brands over the years. That number does not count the hundreds of pairs of underwear I gave to friends— people would come over to my house to take garbage bags of underwear—you know who you are, and you are wearing my used underwear!
Then, there was the next step. I enjoyed collaborating with all of the creative artists on each underwear modeling campaign, so I started an artist’s management & production company to represent stylists, makeup artists, photographers, and other talented people on their journey to be creative in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and around the world. We produced campaigns for Fortune 500 Companies. We created campaigns with six-figure budgets. Our company worked with more than 200 clients, supplying fashion companies with artistic talent to build their brands. I did this because I wanted to support fellow artists—and together, we grew a network of friends in the business that created campaigns for every well-known brand you can think of.
While I was working on the company, I got sick—very sick—with a giant mass in my neck. The neck mass grew so large that it was shocking. After monitoring my health for several years and trying alternative remedies, surgery became the only option because the neck mass grew to the size of a softball and was impeding air in my windpipe. After successful surgery by a skilled surgeon, I had to rehab the muscles on the right side of my face because they were paralyzed. It was challenging to speak and use my mouth. I drooled while talking in meetings. People could not understand me on the phone. I just wanted to stay home and watch Netflix. As a result of the incision for the surgery, I also have a large scar on the right side of my neck. Check my Instagram if you want to see a picture of the scar. Caution: It’s gross. www.instagram.com/thekonsmo
I like the scar—it was the only cool part of the entire process. With the new scar, I hoped to be cast in the Vikings show since I have Norwegian ancestry, and my last name is Konsmo, a town in southern Norway. I like to make jokes about it, but it wasn’t too funny. To be honest, I was not feeling terrific about my body or my mind. All my blood test markers mirrored my internal feelings. I was not in good shape in any sense of the idea of being in shape, which was the opposite of how I felt when I modeled underwear. This health scare took a negative toll on my overall health.
But I was resilient! Knowing a sound body creates a sound mind, I began the long road back to being healthy again. I was humbled in at least two ways. First, I know that good health is always a challenge for everyone, including me. Second, I understand that each person struggles with certain obstacles in life that prevent them from being healthy in the way they want to be healthy. It took me several years to get back in shape. My weight loss was in the triple digits. It was a lot of hard work. As everyone knows, crossing over those plateaus for self-improvement is real. But I did it. Now, I am starting a clothing company to support people who want to overcome any obstacle to be healthy.
“Everybody goes through something.”
Being back in shape is symbolic for me because it’s about being healthy in the way I want to be healthy. It’s about being in mental shape, physical shape, about an overall sense of health, about being present with my family, about improving, about being positive. And, of course, our first items of clothing are underwear! To me, being comfortable modeling underwear again represents that I am healthy again. It’s symbolic for me and my family and our company and our customers.
“We sell underwear! Each pair is symbolic!”
I want you to feel good about yourself, to feel healthy, to feel fit in every sense of the word—physically fit, mentally fit, nutritionally fit—however you define the word fit! When you purchase a pair of our underwear, you are choosing to be in control of who you are—healthy, confident, improved, strong, happy, and always seeking the next adventure.
Konsmo Clothing means something significant to me, and I hope it does to you. Each time you choose to purchase Konsmo Clothing or choose to dress in Konsmo Clothing, we support your choice to be healthy.
Matthew Konsmo | CEO Konsmo Clothing
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