Rugby star fashioning new career

SUPPORTING DAD: Stormers’ rugby captain Siya Kolisi models item from his new line of boxer briefs with his son Nicholas, 2
Picture: Supplied

Funky briefs launched by player

Stomers’ rugby captain and Springbok Siya Kolisi is launching his first line of boxer briefs next month with fellow Grey High School old boy and friend Tim Whitehead. The macho undies, called Frankees, will be available online and target the average South African man who wants to be loud down below, Kolisi said.

“I want to wear a pair of undies that gives boys the same support my team gives me, that is comfortable and looks good in any situation on or off the field,” he said.

“We feel the underwear game in South Africa is pretty bland and many men resort to Australian and European 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.

Whitehead retired from professional rugby last year and since then his yen to travel, as well as his passion for entrepreneurship, has led to Frankees with Kolisi as well as a few other start-ups.

So far, it seemed, the women were loving them, Whitehead said.

“We have received a lot of smiley emojis on social media, they are excited about seeing their men in Frankees,” he said.

Kolisi was hands-on in designing the funky 95% cotton collection, which has an African theme, 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 nonetheless,” he said.

“We are proud of the designs we have come up with and the quality exceeds all of our expectations.

If the undies take off, there are plans to develop a scholar foundation with some of the proceeds of sales which will be 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 a piece.

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