A geeky Polish duo designs comfy, print-heavy "softwear" for nerds
Two graphic designers working in Poland's burgeoning tech industry have taken "softwear" startups to the next level. Their unintentional product: Unerdwear, boxer shorts that unleash your true inner nerd. Kasia Bojanowska and Joanna Socha's combined eye for Tumblr-meets-Reddit-meets-Nintendo patterns, their absurd sense of humor and working in close proximity with the target demographic led to a fortuitous happenstance.
"Me and Socha go way back—we went to the same school and met at the age of 12. Our roads got separated due to different interests (architecture vs fine arts), then our paths crossed again when we met while working as designers for Applicake, a software house in Kraków, Poland," Bojanowska tells CH. "It was actually our friend and Applicake co-founder Ela Madej who told us one day that she figured that if you switch letters in the word 'underwear,' you get uNERDwear. And, since we worked with some amazing nerds and geeks, we thought that was a great name for something—and we bought the domain."
"At first it was just a silly joke—we made a Facebook profile and posted things like, 'I started coding better since I started wearing unerdwear.' Then we made some 'serious scientific research' and it got covered on April Fool's by TechCrunch, which was super-fun and got us thinking about taking this idea further and producing actual underwear for nerds. Since Poland has good textile traditions, we decided to give it a go, even though neither of us had any experience in this business," further explains Bojanowska. One of the advantages the duo had was being able to design their creative Unerdwear website themselves; you can tell just how fun the two are having when discovering all their coding puns and the visual guide to doing laundry.
As with any underwear, there is undeniably the concern regarding fabric quality. Rather than choosing the quick and easy route, the designers took three months to narrow down the perfect fit, fabric and technology—they've even documented their adventures exploring the apparel industry as n00bs online in a cheeky yet down-to-earth manner. Unerdwear is made entirely in Poland using soft 100% cotton, and their signature is hidden in the smaller details—gold tags, golden buttons and the shiny gold packaging. "We don't want to mass-produce. The amount we produce of each pattern is not that big, so the prints we have...once they're gone, they're gone. And then we'll make new [patterns] so we can be original," says Bojanowska.
There are five patterns to choose from their current 1.2 collection, which was narrowed down from 100 original ideas. And Unerdwear has finally launched a women's line with their Lady Flamingo design—and there's more to come. Furthermore, all profits from another one of their designs, named after Rails Girls Summer of Codes, will be donated to the summer program that supports getting more women involved with technology and the world of open-source coding.
Grab a pair of Unerdwear from their online store for €24 or take advantage of their current Valentine's Day offer and get any two pairs for €35 using the code VALENTINE. You can also reserve a pair from their next limited edition collection, which will be released later this year.
Images courtesy of Unerdwear