The Pitch: Why did you close?
Brooks: You know, it's really not anything deep. Quite honestly, the foot traffic was just not where I wanted it to be. I'm going after my market. Men like to buy underwear online and in catalogs or from department stores in boxes. It's different.
Follow me on this: Did you have fitting rooms at the old store?
And some guys were weirded out?
Yes. What I realized was a lot of it was me going, This is what you need to buy. Buy this. It's just not this playing-around-trying-on thing.
Because it was seen as gay?
I think so. I don't want to say that, but at the same time it is kind of like that. Honestly, the gay guys were the ones coming in and going, like, Whooo! The straight guys were the ones coming in, and they were chuckling but a lot wouldn't [buy things]. On First Fridays, you'd get three people into that store, and it was packed. Plus, you had an audience. How many men buy underwear with an audience looking at them? I think men are going to want to be at home online and order my underwear more than they are going to want to drive down to 18th Street and buy my underwear. And they are going to be entertained. We are going toward the Tupperware concept with a lot of parties that will be a lot of fun.
Anything else that straight guys couldn't grasp?
The truth is, it was the high-end designer underwear. It was the $30 pairs of underwear. It was just a little much for a lot of guys.
But their girlfriends were usually disappointed?
Oh, yeah. Oh, my god, yeah, because the underwear is hot. It's amazing it's worth what it is, but it's something decadent, in a sense. That's what I'm saying about a learning curve. I was trying to go toward exclusiveness, but at the same time I learned I've got to have the Jockey. Maybe it has a print on it, and that's fine, but a guy wants his cotton Jockey underwear that he's gotten since he was 16 years old. And hopefully, he went up a size, but maybe not, you know what I mean?
Pulled From the Wreckage
Everyone has driven by something nasty and been unable to keep from staring a pit-bull mauling, a rail disaster.
It's just like reading columns in The Kansas City Star by Jeneé Osterheldt.
The paper's "Night Life Columnist" continues to amaze us with ad-copy-quality work. In recognition of the Star's own train wreck, we've compiled a list of some favorite excerpts: · September 19: "From the hand-breaded chicken to the made-from-scratch biscuits to the smiling faces, Chick-fil-A gives me a down-home feeling."
· July 25: "Spending a day at their pool is about more than cooling off; it's about taking off your cool."
· July 18: "I am happy to see my friend marry the man of her dreams, but I shouldn't have to sacrifice my own dreams to help her do so."
· December 8, 2005: "While you're out there doing your holiday shopping, don't forget that fly outfit you should be wearing when you party up the New Year."
· April 14, 2005: "Whether you're out front on a bench or inside playing footsies at a table, Foo's is fabulous. Even when the sun has gone down and the breeze is blowing, Foo's has it going on."
· November 17, 2005: "The right sweet can get you some juicy kisses and make up for the bad times."
· April 2, 2004: "Our Bear-builder told us to pick out a heart, rub it in our hands and make a wish before she inserted it.... Turns out the workshop was genuinely fun and very bearable."
· February 6, 2004: "Instead of 'Saturday Night Fever,' it was Friday Night Fever. Only it was at a bowling alley with a hip-hop soundtrack."
· January 30, 2004: "The meat was tender and the basil was bangin' like an 808 speaker."
· And from one of her first pieces in the Star, a July 12, 2001, review of an 'N Sync concert: "No one was prepared for the never-ending excitement and surprises these energizer bunnies had in store."