For all you history buffs – did you know that Jockey brand underwear started off as Coopers?
We’ll get to the history lesson in just a minute, but before we do, I wanted to share news of the new-old line of Coopers-brand underwear from Jockey. For my international visitors check out out the Jockey by Coopers website for stockists near you.
Note: For some reason you won’t find mention of the Coopers line on Jockey.com and I haven’t seen any announcements from the company about it. So, I’m not sure what the real deal is or whether or not this line will continue, but here’s information on the line nonetheless. I ran across this new line by accident when visiting Nordstrom’s online store.
Coopers by Jockey Product Line Details
Basic (with Outlast): This line is designed with the Outlast temperature regulation technology used in their StayCool line. It includes a brief, boxer brief, midway brief, crew t-shirt, and a v-neck t-shirt (I’m still confused why some manufacturers refer to these as t-shirts)
Stretch: 8-way stretch line that includes boxer brief, midway brief, crew neck, and v-neck. No specifics on the fabric content though. Kinda sounds like their 3D Innovation line.
Classics: 100% cotton, classic fuller coverage design. Includes traditional-rise brief, boxer brief, and classic crew neck t-shirt
Active: Moisture wicking boxer brief and midway brief. Assuming this has some poly or nylon in it
Boxer: Relaxed full-coverage boxer
A little Jockey History Lesson
1876: Driven by the soaring spirit and inventiveness of the pioneers, Reverend Samuel T. Cooper founded his hosiery company S T Coopers & Sons. Producing quality socks for the Mid-Western Lumberjacks who suffered blisters and other foot ailments. Little did he know his family would continue his pioneering ingenuity.
1890s: Samuel’s son Willis Cooper continued the entreprenerial streak which led him to create the “Black Cat” label. Under this banner, Coopers produced first class hosiery for men, women, and children.
1890s: Builing on the popularity of the “Black Cat” brand, the Cooper brothers Willis & Charles took the bold step and began producing underwear. This new direction was heralded by the creation of the “White Cat” brand
1909: Coopers revolutionized underwear with the new Kenosha Klosed Krotch Union Suit. Designed by Henry Cooper and plant superintendent Horace Greeley Johnson, the innovative design dominated the underwear market during the 1910’s and 1920’s.
1912: The Coopers Instinct for innovation let to the commission of famous illustrator Joseph C. Lyendecker to create a brand icon. The resulting “Man on the Bag” painting portrays and active, athletic figure reproduced on package and advertisements.
1934: The underwear industry’s biggest breakthrough, the iconic Jockey Short was created by Cooperss marketeer Arthur Kneibler. He received a postcard from the French Riviera, showing a man in bikini-style swimwear. From this unlikely inspiration, he changed the course of underwear history
1935: Proud of the expanding product range and keen to challange the public’s squeamishness towards underwear purchase. The tabletop display broke new ground, proudly displaying the range on the counter top, not hidden away in the stockroom.
1938: Never one to shy away from the limelight, this event received international publicity and is ragarded as the most dazzling single event in the history of underwear marketing. The “Cellophane Wedding” took place at the 1938 National Association of Retail Clothiers and Furnishers convention. The bride and groom appeard in transparent evening clothes with visible undergarments!
1940: Following on from the phenomenal success of the Jockey Short, the company commissioned Frank Hoffman to create a new brand icon. The ‘Jockey Boy’ statue became the personification of the brand.
Launched at a sales convention by a Hollywood actor dressed similarly to Hoffman’s figure. The actor walked on the statge, “I am Jockey,” he said, “I belong to the future…I am a trademark which will forever distinguish your name and your products. I’ll be seeing you in store windows all over the world”.
1947: Copied by other brands ever since, Coopers were the first to “brand” their revolutions new waistband. By embroidering the trademarks “Jockey” and “Y-Front”, they assured cutomers of quality and performance.
1961: To launch the Jockey Menswear collection, the “Half Jockey Boy” icon was created to accompany the “Full Boy” underwear collection. Jockey used this logo prominently not only on underwear but on jersey shirts, shorts, tenniswear and slacks.