Former All Black and international rugby player Jerome Kaino has launched a new underwear brand for men called Mint Wear with two childhood friends from South Auckland.
Kaino, creative director Bayon Kim and managing director Rocky Lokeni developed Mint Wear after struggling to find underwear that fit their different lifestyles.
The brand launched with a body positivity campaign video showcasing real Kiwi men celebrating their bodies “to embody the ethos that every man’s a Mint man”. It’s being promoted as “Aotearoa’s first truly inclusive underwear brand for men of all ages and body shapes.”
“Body positive has been somewhat of a taboo subject, yet it is a topic that all men have faced in their lives. We want to break the stigma, start a conversation and empower men to embrace who they are from the moment they put on their underwear. All men, no matter their size, colour or shape, deserve to feel confident. We hope Mint can play a small part in that, because when you feel good your state of mind becomes one of self-belief, positivity and confidence.” Says creative director Bayon Kim.
Staying true to their roots, each pair pays subtle homage to South Auckland. The SKU codes reflect the telephone area codes of Papakura, 296 and 298, while the concept for the signature waistband was inspired by both traditional Pasifika tattoo and the rounded edges of mint leaves. The underwear is hand-crafted from a blend of organically grown bamboo and GOTS cotton.
“We’re just three boys from Papakura who always dreamed of starting something together. Our lives took us in very different directions, to all corners of the world. But now we’re here, launching Mint, because we’re all passionate about what it stands for. Confidence in your own skin.”