A year and a half ago, two Danish men came up with a brilliant plan. Like most other brilliant plans, this one came about over a beer at a bar.
Kenneth and Jens were to make the most comfortable underwear in the world. The perfect underwear.
Today, about a year and a half after that beer, Kenneth Hovmøller spends most of his time thinking about the comfort of other men’s private parts.
“I never wear any other underwear,” says Bangkok-based Kenneth Hovmøller about the garments he produces.
From cars to underwear
When Danish Kenneth Hovmøller from Svendborg arrived in Vietnam in 2001 to sell cars, he never imagined that about 18 years later he would be sitting at a café in Bangkok showing off the underwear he is selling.
Neither did he predict this when he started a dealership of sound systems by Bang & Olufsen in Vietnam and later became a partner in the same kind of dealership for Thailand. Or when he started a modelling bureau.
But even though Kenneth Hovmøller had a full plate, there was one thing that made him enter a new business that he didn’t know much about.
“While I was walking around in Thailand and sweating, I thought, why is no one making proper underwear?”
His friend and now business partner, Jens, was already producing clothes for several high end fashion brands in China, so when he and Kenneth Hovmøller discussed the matter, the conclusion was clear. They were to produce underwear together, they just had to create their utopian underwear.
“We made a list of things we desired in a pair of underwear,” Kenneth Hovmøller says.
After trying on about 100 different fabrics, cuts and styles of underwear through one year, eventually, the two came up with The Perfect Underwear which, to them, is in fact the perfect underwear.
Kenneth Hovmøller was especially bothered by his underwear riding up so his favourite feature of The Perfect Underwear is a soft inner panel on the inside of the thighs to avoid friction and thus ride up.
The intimate piece of garment is made from bamboo which is stretchy in itself as well as antibacterial. This means that it will not smell no matter the amount of sweat produced in the tropical Thai climate according to Kenneth Hovmøller.
The material is naturally climate adjusting as well, meaning that it keeps the private parts warm in colder conditions and cool in hot conditions. Even when exercising.
Now, let’s just clear one thing before reading on.
If you have ever seen a panda gnawing its way through a stick of bamboo, your privates may start to itch from imagining having to wear it. It would be like a stiff chastity belt. However, once bamboo fibres have been processed, they are turned into a soft fabric which feels like silk or nylon.
Because bamboo requires much less water in production than cotton and also grows naturally, supposedly bamboo is one of the most environment friendly types of fabric if processed without chemicals.
According to Kenneth Hovmøller The Perfect Underwear is produced with respect for the environment.
However, he also admits, that this was not a main factor, when he and his business partner made the list at first.
“It’s a bonus, but for me the important part was to make comfortable underwear,” Kenneth Hovmøller says and promises that the plastic wrapping will be replaced by paper as soon as a new batch is ordered.
And when asked about the production of the underwear in China, Kenneth Hovmøller says that corporate social responsibility matters to them as well. His partner visits the factory every week to check the working conditions and ensure that it is not children sitting behind the sewing machines.
“You have to care about that these days.”
Will never go back
Although the brand assures you that this is the perfect underwear, and despite the fact that Kenneth Hovmøller believes so much in the new product, that he has chucked all his own former underwear in the bin in favour of wearing only the Perfect Underwear, the business does have a few challenges.
“It has surprised me how difficult it is to get people to even try them on,” the entrepreneur says.
“People are very loyal to their underwear brands. Some people got their first pair of some specific brand as teenagers and then swear to that brand for the rest of their lives. Those people are difficult to persuade.”
But Kenenth Hovmøller is comfortable that if he can only get people to try on a pair, it is a point of no return.
“Once people try them on, they will never go back,” he says confidently.
As Kenneth Hovmøller has created the underwear he finds perfect, he can’t think of any improvements or adjustments he would at this point like to make.
The only user request has been to make the underwear with shorter legs. But Kenneth Hovmøller refuses to compromise his dedication to make underwear with no ride-ups, and that is not compatible with short legs. So that user will have to adapt.
The next step
At the moment the private pieces of clothing are only available online, albeit for worldwide delivery. But ideally the business will expand to shops later in 2019.
The same time plan is set for introducing a female version of the underwear. This is taking a bit longer as the two men do not have very strong opinions when it comes to women’s comfort in the underwear department.
“There are so many different kinds of underwear for women,” Kenneth Hovmøller says and looks a bit tired.
If all goes well, Kenenth Hovmøller says that the company might even expand to cover other parts of the body in comfortable, anti-bacterial garments.
“The obvious thing to produce next would be socks.”