Stormers’ rugby captain Siya Kolisi is launching his first line of boxer briefs this spring with fellow old Grey High School boy and friend Tim Whitehead.
The macho undies, called Frankees, will be available online next month and target the average South African man who wants to be “loud down below”.
“I want to wear a pair of undies that gives the boys the same support as my team gives me, that is comfortable and looks good in any situation on or off the field,” Kolisi said.
“We feel the underwear game in South Africa is pretty bland at the moment and many resort to Aus and Euro markets to get their funky pieces.
“We want to be loud down below and allow guys the sense of pride in what they wear under their pants!”
Whitehead, 29, and Kolisi, 25, became friends through school rugby in Port Elizabeth – Whitehead was in matric in 2006 and Kolisi in 2009 – and the buddies have followed the same career path since then, with Whitehead also playing for Western Province.
He retired from professional rugby last year and since then his yen to travel, as well as his passion for entrepreneurship, has led to producing Frankees with Kolisi, as well as a few other startups.
So far, it seems, the ladies are loving them, says Whitehead: “We have received a lot of smiley emoji’s on social media this far, they are excited to see their men in Frankees!”
Kolisi was hands-on in designing the funky 95% cotton collection, which has an African flare, along with a retro-1990s waistband.
One design will use South Africa’s national flower, the protea, while another incorporates our traditional ShweShwe and a playful emoji print.
Whitehead said developing the business had taught the friends a lot.
“The journey has been one of many lessons and challenges but an adventure none the less.
“We are proud of the designs we have come up with and the quality exceeds all of our expectations,” Whitehead said.
If the undies take off, there are plans to develop a scholar foundation with some proceeds of sales used to help less fortunate children achieve their full potential.
They believe in paying it forward, as without Kolisi’s bursary for his education at Grey none of this would have become reality.
Frankees are produced in Durban by Ninian and Lester, which also manufactures for Jockey.
Prices range from R200 to R230 per piece and they will shortly be available worldwide, with international shipping.