It will be impossible for me to resist puns in today’s blog post, but I’m determined to get to the bottom of this topic. The other day, I wrote about agnès b’s commitment to manufacturing as much as possible in France; today my brief is to talk about Le slip français (luh sleep franseh), or The French Brief. (Women’s undies are called culottes – more coverage – or strings – rather less.) This young company makes cotton undies for men, women, and children exclusively in France at Saint-Antoine in the Dordogne. The company was founded by Guillaume Gibaut, a handsome young man who could well model his own product. He graduated from the HEC business school in 2009 and started his business in his garage on a G-string budget.
He clearly has a sense of humor, which is the only way to go in a business that just begs people to be cheeky. His men’s line, the foundation of the business, has briefs and boxers named after French nuclear submarines, L’Intrépide, Le Redoutable, Le Vaillant, and Le Triomphant. You can buy your BVDs in packs of blue, white, and red, the colors of the French flag, of course.
You don’t need a battle cruiser or submarine to defend France’s economy, just switch your unmentionables. As he jockeys for position in this market, Gibaut relies on French savoir-faire in the textile industry to give him a leg-up over those who cut costs by manufacturing abroad. Les slips aren’t simply assembled in France, the high-quality fabric is knit in l’Hexagone too. Their motto is provocative, “Vous voulez changer le monde ? Vous voulez changer les choses ? Commencez par changer de Slip !”, which means “Do you want to change the world? Do you want to change things? Start by changing your underwear!” He brought his message to the last Presidential campaign, morphing campaign posters into publicity for patriotic panties.
And while Gibaut’s message may seem more like advice from Mom than the message of the sans-culottes of the Revolution, he’s not just interested in changing your underwear. For each pair of undies you buy, Le Slip Français will donate 2€ to “Rêve d’Enfance” (Childhood Dream ), the French equivalent of the Make-a-Wish foundation. The HEC sponsored charity provides aid to those affected by childhood leukemia.
And now I’ve bottomed-out of puns.
- Panties? Skivvies? Bloomers? Words for Underwear (julieglover.com)
- Viral marketing: THIS is how you sell men’s underwear online (whiteboardmag.com)
- The French (underwear) Revolution (adverblog.com)