In celebration of Pride month, Nordstrom is partnering with the leading queer sex-positive lifestyle brand Nasty Pig for a pop-up at their iconic NYC Men’s Store location (NYC 235 West 57th Street) starting on June 15.
The broader context would be how LGBTQ brands – like Nasty Pig, who launched 29 years ago in downtown NYC’s underground club scene and were, for years, deemed too risqué for mainstream consumption – are finally beginning to penetrate the mainstream market with major department stores like Nordstrom partnering with Nasty Pig on an in-store pop-up in their NYC Men’s Store this Pride.
Nasty Pig launched in the early nineties, at a time when HIV/AIDS was ravaging the queer community. Nasty Pig’s unabashed sex positivity unnerved major department stores such as Macys and Bloomingdales, and instead became a staple of queer retail partners like Mr. S Leather in San Francisco.
Nordstrom opening its doors to Nasty Pig and giving them a chance to sell their collection alongside brands from Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger to Jaquemus and Bode is a big step forward for LGBTQ inclusion in major department stores.
While Nasty Pig is the exclusive partner for the first weekend of the Pride pop up, Nordstrom is hosting the Big Gay Swap Meet, a multi-vendor market shop supporting local LGBTQIA+ founded brands and vendors at the Nordstrom NYC Men’s store. The market shop will launch with Nasty Pig on June 15th and run through June 25th, with other participating brands including Kaftko, Pillow Top, Brad Ouellette, Coffey Men, Any Old Iron, Zach Grear and Dan Stafford Ceramics. Additionally, Nordstrom will partner with the Human Rights Campaign in support of their t-shirt initiative across six Nordstrom regional locations including NYC, where 100% of the proceeds from the sale of their PRIDE T-shirts will benefit HRC.
Nasty Pig founders Frederick Kearney and David Lauterstein who are husbands launched the brand 29 years ago from their tiny Chelsea apartment. Their simple idea to market their downtown NYC-inspired sportwear-meets-fetish collections to the gay community during the peak of the AIDS epidemic has grown into an internationally recognized and beloved fashion powerhouse.
We are thrilled to present an exclusive opportunity for an insightful Q&A session with owner David Lauterstein. Get ready to dive deeper into our world as we share exciting details and much more.
How has Nasty Pig evolved and grown since its inception in the 90s? Can you share some key milestones or notable achievements for the brand?
We’ve grown so much over the past twenty nine years. We make a much bigger line of products that span categories from sportswear to jewelry to accessories to underwear. Our line is carried in stores all over the world and our e-commerce business has exploded. But in so many ways we are doing the same thing we have done since day one – designing and manufacturing gear to make our customers feel sexy and empowered.
“We are doing the same thing we have done since day one – designing and manufacturing gear to make our customers feel sexy and empowered.”David Lauterstein (Nasty Pig)
In what ways has Nasty Pig contributed to the LGBTQ+ community in New York City and beyond? Are there any specific initiatives or partnerships that the brand has been involved in?
We proudly support the Ali Forney Center, the largest LGBT community center helping LGBTQ homeless youth in the United States. We also work closely with the CDC and the White House in getting out public health information that directly impacts our community.
Can you tell us about any signature styles or design elements that Nasty Pig is known for? How does the brand differentiate itself in the crowded underwear market?
We have our own unique style that we have pioneered since 1994. The fusion of quality sportswear with fetish elements is definitely our sweet spot. We also love to reinvent the classics. We pull elements from icon queer looks of the past and push them into the future.
What inspired the decision to have a pop-up tenant in an iconic NYC Flagship location in June?(Nordstrom Men’s Store Pride Pop-Up starting on Thursday, June 15. T) Can you share any details about this upcoming pop-up and what customers can expect?
Nordstrom approached us to be involved in their pride-inspired Big Gay Swap Meet for June, and while there is prestige in having our line in their store, it was the way in which they approached us that mattered. They weren’t interested in us providing them a watered down version of what we do. They wanted our authenticity to shine. That’s what sealed the deal for us.
How has the brand transitioned from being print ad oriented to embracing a digital-only approach, and how have they effectively adapted to these changes?
Nasty Pig has never been highly focused on advertising. We look to entertain our customers. We want to tell great stories so that the products we make become souvenirs of the journey we take them on. When you do that correctly you don’t need to spend much on ad placement.
“We want to tell great stories so that the products we make become souvenirs of the journey we take them on.”David Lauterstein (Nasty Pig)
Can you talk about Nasty Pig’s commitment to social responsibility and activism? Are there any specific causes or organizations that the brand supports?
Nasty Pig was started as an activist organization. Doing good for our community isn’t just in our brand…it’s in our blood. We always lead with our hearts and we are always undeniably queer. From our work with Ali Forney Center to the CDC to the White House we are champions of sexual positivity for our community.
How does Nasty Pig incorporate customer feedback and preferences into its design process? Are there any examples where customer input has influenced the direction of the brand or specific products?
We are always listening to our customers and sharing their input with our design team. The most recent product we made was our Youtility Duffel Bag. Our customers wanted a gym bag that could easily be used for on-the-go play sessions so we created one. It sold out in a couple of days!
Looking ahead, what are Nasty Pig’s future plans? An autobiography book is on the horizon, the Title is ‘’Little Pig, Little Pig’’ (Unbound Publishing Press) can you explain the title to us?
I got a book deal from Unbound Edition and wrote a memoir about the earliest days of Nasty Pig – a time when I fell in love with my husband and in love with my community. It is an authentic queer love story that I am excited to share with our fans and with the world. So get ready for more love from Nasty Pig!
Experience Nasty Pig love at our Pride Pop Up in NYC’s Nordstrom Men’s Store. Discover exclusive Pride and Pink capsules, plus gear from NP S/S23 collection.
Thank you, Frederick Kearney and David Lauterstein, the amazing owners of Nasty Pig, for your incredible dedication, perseverance, and positive energy over the years. Through your remarkable brand, you have empowered us and made us feel confident and sexy. We eagerly anticipate visiting the pop-up flagship in New York and immersing ourselves in your story by reading your memoirs.
A special thank you goes out to Len Evans from Project Publicity for placing trust in us and assisting us in connecting with the founders.