Ruxwood Brings Minimal Design, Sensual Confidence, And Inclusion To The Jockstrap

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Designed for bicycle messengers to safely carry their cargo, jockstraps have been around since 1874, as the cobblestone streets of Boston were less than friendly to bike jockeys of their time. Athletes eagerly adopted the undergarment in many sports with the addition of hard shells to protect one's manhood from an errant inside fastball.

In the subsequent years since its debut, the jockstrap also changed perception. For many, the garment remained sportswear designed for practicality and utility, and its association with sports gave rise to the term “jock” as a slang term for athletes. But it's also an essential fashion staple in the gay community. Somewhere along the way, though, some of the features that made the original a hit fell by the wayside.

"The strap was a practical solution for protection and support," says Justin Gilbert, co-founder of Ruxwood, a new brand repositioning the underwear in a new and more inclusive light. "Comfort got lost somewhere along the line. What made jockstraps so great in the first place, like the larger waistband and a brandless facade, are elements we wanted to bring back into our current day.”

Part of the brand's ethos is bringing quality essentials funneled through a lens that speaks to wellness, diversity, inclusion, and a humanistic sensuality, one that also takes into account the founders' love of art and design.

"I needed form-fitting support with minimal design," Justin blogged early on about the brand's launch. "No distractions—but a compliment. In addition, I wanted something that encouraged me to experience my body more sensually while wearing it. Feeling good is top priority."

For Justin, that meant offering something that wasn't just decoration—it would serve as an extension of one's figure.

The band identity is void of preconceptions and seeks to be more inclusive. For men of all stripes, Ruxwood’s offerings provide comfort in a flattering way that isn’t usually considered when it comes to men’s underwear. Neutral colors and contrasting-while-complimentary type choices create an environment that celebrates the male body while also feeling approachable.

“Our visual identity has been inspired by intentional subtraction with a focus in analog, tactile, human-touch feel,” says Bronze Avery, co-founder of Ruxwood. “Design elements like these aren’t related to any specific group. There’s a common misconception that visual branding needs to attach itself to an identity when they're actually mutually exclusive. We want to show our inclusion through our values."

That's because built into the identity is not only a strong sense of sexual confidence but a commitment to celebrating diversity and inclusion. And that means showcasing those perspectives that don't often get heard,

"Colors and typefaces don’t show that, but language and action do,” adds Bronze. “We have a journal on our site where we get to highlight stories and experiences from all communities, and those perspectives are the head and heart of Ruxwood. Inclusion transcends design.”

Ruxwood is also launching an app that helps users track sensual experiences, in addition to a platform showcasing writers sharing their unique experiences. The brand’s commitment to the queer community its founders are a part of—and one they also feel is underserved when it comes to underwear—is clear in the branding and ancillary elements to customer and community engagement.

However you come to the jockstrap as a possible underwear option, Ruxwood’s brand philosophy towards inclusion is evident and welcoming while signaling a nod to the gay community that long held a candle to the design. But Ruxwood likely breaks away from the rest of the pack, with its focus on comfort while showing off the sensuality of the male form.