In 1909 one of our designers awoke in the middle of the night with a striking new underwear concept.
Afraid that he might lose the inspiration, he woke his wife, and together they made a prototype. The finished product, eventually known as the KENOSHA KLOSED KROTCH, offered a convenient diagonal opening in place of the bulky, bunching drop-seat common to union suits. The new design revolutionized the union suit business.
Like many other companies, ours was fighting for its life as the hardships of the Great Depression intensified. During the darkest hour, the company solicited advice from Harry H. Wolf, Sr., a nationally known expert in engineering and finance. Mr. Wolf’s financial acumen and reorganization of the company saved it – just in time for it to fulfill its destiny.
We changed the world’s underwear in 1934 when one of our designers created a strange, new kind of underwear called “the brief”. Unlike any underwear at that time, it provided men with “masculine support”, available at that time only through the use of an athletic supporter, sometimes called a “jock strap”. To discretely describe the function of the new-fangled underwear, we called it the Jockey (JOCK-ey) brief. Today, Jockey is a recognized trademark in over 120 countries.
Jockey briefs sold out in every store almost immediately, so our “Mascu-liner” airplane flew special deliveries of “masculine support” Jockey briefs to desperate retailers. Our “brief” success has lasted more than 65 years. To this day, the brief is the most popular style of men’s underwear in the United States.
Jockey quickly joined the war effort. Our famous “Jockey Boy” logo promoted war bonds, and Jockey factories churned out underwear and parachutes for the Allied troops.
It was a revolutionary idea: looks are important where men’s underwear is concerned. Jockey challenged men with slogans like, “Why not have fun with your underwear?” And, fashion underwear was born. Looks were no longer irrelevant as men chose colors and even animal stripe patterns for their underwear.
Our continuing mission was to deliver Jockey underwear to every person on earth. But when we submitted this design to NASA, we began to reach for the stars. This special astronaut underwear included special elastic straps around the cuffs to minimize “creeping” in a weightless environment.
In 1982 women won the right to wear Jockey underwear as we introduced our first complete line of women’s intimates. Under the leadership of our first woman CEO, Harry H. Wolf, Sr.’s daughter, the new JOCKEY FOR HER line turned out to be the company’s most successful venture since the creation of the first brief in 1934.