Description

 

From the 1970s to 2000s, the International Male catalog landed unsolicited into millions of men’s mailboxes.  Part magazine, part catalog, this “magalog” presented hard-bodied men in boundary pushing clothing who seemingly traveled the world in style.  From pleated pants and “poet’s blouses,” to exotic underwear and mesh suits, the catalog challenged conventional fashion, calling into question what it meant to be a man. 

 

The boy-next-door models appealed to gay and straight audiences alike.  For gay men, these sensually dressed guys offered a gateway into a fantasy world – providing an escape from AIDS and homophobia.  In the era Miami Vice and a budding gym culture, the catalog gave straight men permission to take fashion risks without threatening their masculinity. 

 

For more than three decades, the International Male catalog queered the image of the all-American boy, ultimately changing attitudes about men’s fashion, masculinity and sexuality in America.

Timeline

1972

Gene Burkard founds Brawn of California from his beach shack in San Diego and begins selling the “Jock Sock”, inspired by incontinence briefs seen in a shop on a trip to London.

1973

Burkard borrows $5000 and places an ad for the Jock Sock in Playboy. He also hires Gloria Tomita, a housewife in her 40s still newly arrived in San Diego from Philadelphia, to be his secretary. She quickly becomes head of sales.

1976

First issue of International Male is published.

1977

International Male opens two large storefronts in San Diego and West Hollywood.

1980

Olympic athlete Caitlyn [née Bruce] Jenner is featured on the cover of International Male.

1986

International Male is sold to catalog conglomerate Hanover Direct, Burkard and Tomita retire. IM opens a store in a mall in Escondido, plans to expand to ten more storefronts in near future. The plans are not seen through.

1988

Hanover lays off many tenured employees, attempts to “straighten out” International Male's gay, stigmatized image.

1993

“The Puffy Shirt” episode of Seinfeld airs, inspired by International Male's “Ultimate Poet’s Blouse.”

2001

Zoolander is released. The titular character is a satirical take on the world of male modeling pioneered by International Male.

2007

Last issue of International Male is published, merges with subsidiary Undergear.

2015

Undergear ceases its catalog publication, continues running online site.

Select Interviews (to date)

CARSON KRESSLEY
Television Personality
SIMON DOONAN
Television Personality
JAKE SHEARS
Musician, Scissor Sisters
DREW DROEGE
Comedian, Actor, Drag Performer
GENE BURKARD
Creator and CEO
GLORIA TOMITA
Head Buyer/VIce President
BRIAN BUZZINI
Model
DAVID KNIGHT
Model

Filmmakers

a partnership between Peter Jones Productions and Bright Eyes to form All Man Movie, LLC

PETER JONES

Writer & Executive Producer

 

Peter Jones has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award five times, winning twice: for his A&E Biography special Judy Garland: Beyond the Rainbow (1997), and for Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2006). His Peabody Award-winning Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times (2009) premiered as a national primetime special on PBS, and Johnny Carson: King of Late Night (2012) remains the highest-rated film in the 31-year history of the PBS series American Masters.


Over the course of a decade, Peter Jones Productions created 85 profiles for A&E Biography, many written and directed by Jones.


Peter is a graduate of Stanford (BA, American Studies) and Northwestern (Masters, Medill School of Journalism). He has twice been the recipient of the Producer of the Year Award from The Producers Guild of America.

BRYAN DARLING
Director, Producer, Editor 

Bryan Darling’s work as a director & editor focuses on crafting stories that explore the social issues around marginalized communities. He served as editor on “Her Story,” a series following the intersecting lives of trans women navigating love. The series was nominated for a 2016 Emmy and won both a Gotham Award and GLAAD award.

His other works include James Franco’s docu-drama “I Think You’re Totally Wrong” and “Seed Money,” about Chuck Holmes, pornographer turned philanthropist who funded Bill Clinton and the gay rights movement of the 1990s. “Seed Money” sold at the 2016 Cannes Market. As a director, Bryan’s short films have screened in festivals worldwide, including Frameline, Seattle International and BFI London.

JESSE FINLEY REED

Director & Producer

 

Jesse Finley Reed’s work as a visual artist, filmmaker and art director is passionately engaged with social welfare issues, the LGBT experience and pop-culture. His artwork has been exhibited internationally at galleries, museums, and public art sites.

As an art director, Jesse has worked with ad agencies in New York and Los Angeles, crafting campaigns for Pepsi, Chrysler, and UCLA. He served as creative director at the Los Angeles LGBT Center — the largest LGBT organization in the world — where he created a multi-platform campaign to promote PrEP and safer sex strategies. ALL MAN: The International Male Movie is his first documentary film.

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