We’ve asked some of the companies we know to answer some of the key questions about the value of their clothes, what it all means, and what’s at stake for the industry.
1. What is stripping worth?
A recent study from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Graduate School of Business estimates the total value of male lingerie in America at $4.5 billion. The study’s authors calculate that the average woman who is an occasional customer spends about $45 per year.
2. What makes it worth more than it’s worth? (Don’t tell the clothes)
If you were to strip one piece of male lingerie to a million-dollar gold coin, there are roughly 300 million pennies on the surface – which the industry calls an “average” value.
3. How much does a person pay for male lingerie?
Men’s underwear sells in the high-end “luxury” stores like Nordstrom and H&M, where the average price is $300. On that same budget for a woman’s bra, at $20 a pair, it sells for just $1 per pair, which is roughly equal to the price of a man’s model for it.
4. Where do the money go?
In addition to buying the products, the lingerie companies often use it to compensate the workers or pay for advertising for their apparel. That’s the way it usually works: When a lingerie company hires lingerie models, it also pays for the company’s advertising, which includes spots in magazines and newspapers. Some of the men’s underwear is also sold in the drug stores and supermarkets.
5. What do the companies say?
The American company Calvin Klein says that its underwear brand, Calvin Klein, is the “most trusted underwear brand” in the U.S. It also boasts about its gender-neutral, natural-skin products.
7. Does a high-speed internet connection cut out the middlemen?
For some male underwear, the high-speed internet connection allows a retailer like the lingerie lines of Calvin Klein and American Eagle to cut out the middleman: The companies pay the workers to wear a bra and have the company’s own models in the store. At American Eagle, the average retail price of a bra is $55, making it about the same as a Calvin Klein mannequin.
8. Is the industry losing customers or is it just keeping them?
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