Did You Know: The Boxer Brief is a Greek American’s Invention


After beginning his design career at Polo Ralph Lauren in 1983, Detroit native John Varvatos went on to oversee menswear at Calvin Klein before returning to Ralph in the same role.

But it was at Calvin Klein in the early 1990s where he would pioneer what may very well go down in history as one of the greatest apparel revolutions of the 20th century— the boxer brief.

“We just cut off a pair of long johns and thought, This could be cool,” he told The Pappas Post.

Detroit native John Varvatos is credited with the invention of the boxer-brief.

Detroit native John Varvatos is credited with the invention of the boxer-brief.

Modeled by the young “Marky” Mark Wahlberg, the new “boxer brief” was an instant success and in the early 90s variation– went viral.

“Mark was wearing boxer briefs everywhere: on billboards and planes. It just shows you [that]when things catch on, they really can catch on. I call it the Dow Chemical explosion of things happening,” John said in an interview.

The rest, as they say, is history. John now has his own, wildly successful menswear line and is one of the most recognizable names in men’s fashion.


What is a boxer brief?

Boxer briefs are styled in the combination of boxers and briefs; creating the best of both worlds. They are made of the tight-fitting, spandex brief fabric (though some are not so tight-fitting) in the shape of boxer shorts and thigh-length legs. For comfort, some are designed with extra material at the front to from a pouch; others have a flap; and others have neither.

Today, boxer briefs are currently available in dozens of fabrics, styles, colors, patterns, abstracts, and prints for men and boys and they’ve been modeled for dozens of companies like Armani, H&M and other retailers by practically every well-bodied male celebrity on earth.

Millions of men around the world say “Thank you John Varvatos,” every day.


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