Man Behind The Brand: Dan Murray of Sly Underwear

Dan Murray

Embodying Australia’s flamboyant and progressive youth culture, Dan Murray’s Sly underwear has fast become one of the most well-known Australian underwear brands.  In less than 12 months, Sly’s account base has grown to include over 250 retailers on four continents.  The allure of the brand lies in its colorful energy, and the success of the brand is due in part to the cohesive and artistic marketing.

We interviewed Murray to catch a glimpse into the genius that propels Sly upwards.  We learn what sets his brand apart, what drives him, and to what he credits the success of Sly Underwear.

Underwear Expert: What do you credit with your brand’s huge successes in the past twelve months considering the current world economy?
Dan:  In my opinion, the state of the world’s economy has provided a brilliant opportunity to grow a brand and business.  Firstly, any traction a brand gains in these times is magnified in the media and given larger than usual credibility, as they are proving to be a success in a downturn.  Creating this brand image in the formative stages of a brand sets you up brilliantly to capitalize exponentially once the economy strengthens.

The other positive the downturn has provided is the overexposure of competitors in the market. The big guys produce massive volumes, and if they can’t sell target volumes, then they have huge amounts of dead stock. This has seen massive branding damage, where the big guys are selling through discount outlets and massively discounting. This positions us as an in demand product which has avoided the saturation trap.

Underwear Expert: What sets Sly underwear apart from other Australian brands?
Dan:  First and foremost, it is the quality of the garments and aesthetics of the label as a whole. We market our brand as a lifestyle inspired customer, rather than an “underwear brand”. For this reason, our marketing.. and videos stand out as a brand unlike any other not only in Australia, but the world.

Underwear Expert: Where are you currently available for sale in the US and do you have plans to make Sly a major competitor in the US industry?
Dan:  We currently sell online to America and are starting to see a large following develop on the west coast, particularly CA.  East Coast Australian lifestyle has numerous similarities to West Coast America: this most likely fuels this popularity.  At the same time, volumes on the east coast and particularly NYC are steadily increasing.

Underwear Expert: What are your long-term goals for making Sly a staple in the men’s underwear industry?
Dan:  Quality and range diversification are the big focus points for us.  The brand sells via a lifestyle association; we want to make sure we are providing quality product that people like us want to buy.  It’s a simple strategy, but it’s working thus far.

Underwear Expert: What’s the process for the creative design of your underwear and what are its main influences?
Dan:  It comes back to a lifestyle that is unique to Australia’s East Coast.  It’s sun and surf, but also urban and charged.  It’s a very unique environment, and we draw inspirations from the experiences this brings. We all add our two cents, but our Creative Director (Josh Smith) pulls it all together.

Underwear Expert: If there’s one type of man that your men’s underwear is designed for, who would he be?
Dan:  The guy who likes to look good, feel good, live good (but not necessarily wanting to spend $50+ on designer underwear.)

Underwear Expert: What’s the best part about owning an underwear company?
Dan:  I am very fortunate to be in the position I am in.  I love getting up every morning and being able to think of something, then make it happen. The autonomy and creativity being involved with a brand brings is an amazing feeling.  It scares me to work for someone in a job that I didn’t enjoy.

Underwear Expert: What’s your favorite pair of Sly underwear?
Dan:  Azure.  I’m pretty plain in all honesty; pretty much everything I wear is block colors with a bit of flair.