by: Jeff Auer (c)2010
International Male was a clothing line created by Gene Burkard, a former advertising copywriter at the Milwaukee Journal. Burkard decided to market a tight pair of men's underpants through the mail called the Jock Sock in 1971 via The Advocate and the Los Angeles Free Press. He developed a national advertising campaign and managed to overcome resistance to gay adverstisements by appearing in such publications as: The Los Angeles Times, Playboy and Penthouse magazines.
In 1974-75 he incoporated under the name Brawn of California and moved into a factory with 40 sewing machines and a catalogue of 22 items. In 1977 he opened the first International Male store located in San Diego at 2802 Midway Drive. In 1978 he opened a second store in West Hollywood located at 9000 Santa Monica Blvd. By 1979 over half of the company employees were gay. The catalogs produced by the clothing line became famous in the gay community. Burkard retired from the company in 1987 and sold it to Hanover House based out of Hanover, Pennsylvania. The last paper catalog went out in 2007.
Video Montage of International Male from Extra TV Show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7Fcn2rtuHA