LOS ANGELES — Tommy Gunn, the 2011 XBIZ Male Performer of the Year, is launching his signature line of Tommy Gunn Underwear this Saturday in Canada.
Gunn will be presenting the first pieces from his new men’s and women’s Tommy Gunn Collection at a special appearance from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Ice Gear store at the Vaughan Mills Mall in Concord, Ontario, about 11 miles from Toronto.
Gunn told XBIZ that he has designed three styles of bottoms and three styles of tops for both men and women for the launch.
“We’re trying to line it up with Valentine’s Day [on Feb. 14],” Gunn said. “We thought this was a good time to launch with the holiday coming up and everyone celebrating relationships and romance. Everybody seems to get a kick out of the concept.”
Gunn said that not unlike wearing other name brands, wearing his stuff is a fashion statement.
“The thought behind the Tommy Gunn Underwear is that if people know who I am, that means they’re a fan of the industry and the nature of the entertainment, if you will,” Gunn explained. “People who knowingly sport the Gunns, or the Tommy Gunn’s, will send a message that they’re a little more adult. It’s underwear that says something. If they’re sporting Tommy Gunn’s, they know what’s up.”
Gunn, who is in his eighth year as one of adult’s elite performers, is far from a newcomer to the apparel industry. He got into designing clothing in the ’90s while he was a traveling Chippendales dancer.
“I entertained women for years being a dancer, and there was a need for some costuming, so I basically pulled the sewing machine out of my mother’s closet, dusted it off and said let me learn how to sew and figure out how to make some of these costumes myself,” Gunn recalled.
He started making some swimwear and dancewear for women and turned it into a side business in the tri-state area of New Jersey, Delaware and New York.
“Then I moved to Florida and saw there was even more of a demand,” Gunn said.
He designed costumes for the legendary dance duo of Julia Ann and Janine, who became one of the top feature dance acts in the country as Blondage.
“I made them costumes for their gig at The Doll House in Pompano Beach in 1997 and 10 years later I ended up working with them both [in porn],” Gunn said.
He also designed pieces for a couple of fashion shows and music videos in the early 2000s.
“Then I had a bad run-in with an investor and put the whole clothing thing on the backburner,” Gunn said. “After getting into the adult business and developing a name for myself I thought this clothing thing might be something to revisit and I decided that underwear was a good place to start. It’s clothing that we all wear. It’s the first thing we put on and the last thing we take off. It’s an intimate thing and everybody wants to feel sexy.”
Gunn said he found Ice Gear, a fitness apparel manufacturer, through a business partner and made a deal with them to do his manufacturing, while he does all the designing. He has samples of the collection, which is already becoming known as “Gunnderwear,” on his official website TommyGunn.com.
“The name Tommy Gunn really lends itself to a lot of marketing and advertising slogans,” he said. “And I’m actually modeling some of the stuff. By doing that, people see that I believe in the product.”
Gunn’s design talent will also be on display in the upcoming “Spartacus” epic that will be released later this year by Wicked Pictures; he made 90 percent of the gladiator costumes and weapons used in the film that he co-produced with Marcus London and executive producer Miko Lee.
After this weekend’s debut, Gunn will look forward to hosting a launch party for his friends in the adult industry, as well as conducting a model search for new Gunn Girls.