N2N Bodywear A Brand Story – Making men feel sexy for almost 20 years
Inspiration came to entertainer Andrew Makay while working as a performer on a cruise ship in 1987. That would eventually lead to one of today’s most iconic underwear brands. A simple turquoise bikini served as the spark that would turn into the blazing hot brand, N2N. Ten years later in May 1997 after lots of work and dedication the official brand was born.
That bikini got Andrew thinking, what if every day underwear was made not just to be worn but to be sexy?
In the years that would follow Andrew sought to learn the tools of the trade. He became self-taught in the design process. Most importantly in the use of the industrial machines that would help produce his underwear. This process was not always smooth, relying on the trial and error method a lot in the beginning.
The first pair that he worked on and finished was a bikini, perfect for where he was living at the time, Orlando. It was 1989, two years after he first bought his turquoise pair in Acapulco but still 8 long years before he would officially launch his brand.
Those years were filled with trials and errors and successes. Still he was fueled by his desire to bring his vision for sexy, ready to wear underwear to life. There didn’t need to be a line between every day wear and more lingerie. Which was only meant to be worn before intimacy.
He was continually helped by fellow performers and friends, especially Brian Sturzenacher, during that time. It would be through the help of friends that would get Andrew through the launch of his store. Also through the first many years. If they weren’t letting him crash on his couch they were helping believe in his vision. Like Angus Kennedy who later became the company’s CFO.
It would still be a little bit of time before Andrew would launch N2N inside of someone else’s store. Someone took a chance on him. Don with Los Angeles Sport Company agreed to sell some of Andrew’s designs in his store. This was it, his first real exposure. It was a big step for Andrew and for N2N.
One of the big moments that stands out to Andrew is receiving his first shipment of underwear sewn by a contract sewer. It would have taken him weeks if not months to do the same amount of work. His production could now be sped up and give him more time to focus on the design and the business. What a relief!
Finally in May of 1997. Ten long years after his life on cruise ships. N2N launched in a shared space with a women’s swimwear store in West Hollywood. His own designs, his vision was out there for the world, or at least the greater L.A. area, to see. Andrew was getting to help put men in seductive pairs of underwear.
In 1997 his designs relied a lot upon sex appeal. Skimpy. Tight. Alluring. The old adage that sex sells rings true for a reason and people were starting to notice N2N.
However, some of those people were his collaborators, his partners. First he noticed that the Women’s Swimwear store started to branch out and was selling remarkably similar pairs on their side of the store. Then he learned that his sewing contractor was marketing identical designs overseas as well.
Needless to say that was the end to those partnerships.
Scorned and saddened it was the enthusiasm generated from his designs that got him through. The reception was making a buzz and Andrew’s vision for suggestively filled underwear drawers pulled him back into work.
The first years were slim, not only in design but in financial success. When not couch surfing (before it was trendy) Andrew could often be found waking up having slept on top of his fabric bolts. Struggling but encouraged he continued to evolve his brand, his vision.
He wanted his underwear to compliment all types of guys. He moved the designs forward, past “skimpy = sexy” to experimenting with fabrics that left less to the imagination then the cut did. N2N would push the envelope of what every day underwear could be. While staying true to the goal of sexy, every day underwear that made the wearer feel empowered.
After many years of hustling his wears at trade shows. Andrew started to plunge more and more resources into the all mighty advertising. At the time the way to go was expensive print advertising. Pricy magazine ads helped to bolster N2N’s sales and the brand started to grow and grow.
After 6 or 7 years Andrew finally felt that N2N had arrived and had established staying power. From a cruise ship to a share space in West Hollywood to championing the brand around the industry. He finally knew his vision was hitting home. And then came…the internet.
The world at your fingertips and the world’s fingertips at your door N2N’s sales took off. Internet marketing was a godsend. With less cost than the pricy print advertising the brand’s reach was greatly extended.
Pairs of sexy underwear were being shipped all over the place. Eddie Flores, N2N’s artistic director, and Andrew Makay continue to stay true to their vision of incredibly sultry underwear for everybody for every day.
N2N’s lines incorporate different styles and cuts. So that any body type can find their own sexiness reflected in their underwear. Trunks can be sexy. Briefs can be sexy. Thongs can be sexy. You can be sexy.
For over 18 years N2N has been championing sensual drawers in your drawers. For those same 18 years N2N has been locally made in Los Angeles, a fact that Andrew happily highlights.
And speaking of happy highlights. One of the biggest moments for Andrew and N2N came in 2014 when none other than Neil Patrick Harris touted his love for N2N underwear. During an interview with Vanity Fair Neil stated that N2N was his current favorite brand. “They’re perfectly designed to honor the goods, and not smash them”.
Andrew described the shout out by NPH as one of the proudest in his professional underwear career. Other proud moments have come from dealing with some extraordinary models like William Levy and Adam Ritchson who have gone on to big things. Levy went on to have a very successful acting career and recently appeared on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
Yet when asked about what really brings him pride after all of these years of getting sexy men into sexy underwear he points to his repeat customers. People across the world look to their underwear to give them an extra bounce in their step. A feather in their caps and many of those people are repeatedly choosing N2N. Repeat customers give Andrew and the rest of the N2N team the knowledge that they continue to hit the bullseye of what makes people feel sexy, confident, wonderful!
It took a turquoise bikini, years of hard work, sleepless night, toil and turmoil, and constant encouragement but N2N has grown into one of today’s iconic underwear brands. Andrew, Eddie Flores, and the whole N2N organization continue to look to the future for inspiration so that the rest of us can continue to fill our underwear drawers with pairs that, as Neil Patrick Harris said, “…honor the goods…”