Let’s be real. Is there anything Colby Melvin can not do? Since we named hi last year’s Underwear Expert model of the year, Colby has had quite the year, both professionally and personally. He and his fiancé, Brandon Brown, were at the forefront of the big shifts in marriage equality this year, even sharing a much publicized kiss when Prop 8 and DOMA were shot down in the Supreme Court. Along with Brandon, he has begun creating a nightlife empire through Colbra Entertainment. He has taken up hosting duties for the likes of Lance Bass and LogoTV, and still has time to sew up a cosplay outfit for advocacy appearances at Six Flags.
Not having spoken with Colby for quite a while, we caught up with him to discuss some of the projects he’s been working on in the past year.
The Underwear Expert: Tell us about your work with Colbra Entertainment.
Colby: The one thing I will like to share with all aspiring underwear models and go go dancers is to always remember to think about business and longevity. How you can take your career to the next level. For Brandon and I, to accomplish that we had to work with what we had. Colbra Entertainment started because we were getting national bookings. We recruited some go go dancers and other underwear models for events. The Colbra name has a certain connotation for the kinds of dancers you will get. We’re more focused on entertainment value versus overt sexuality. When I came out and entered into the gay community, I noticed a need to explore sexual expression without crossing the line of taste in certain nightlife venues.
We’re not just go go dancers. We have DJs, drag queens, singers, dancers, etc. We’re crafting complete shows from a wide range of talent. It’s like LA nightlife coming to you. We’ll supply everything. Today, it’s hard to get a job. I’ve had the professional jobs. Go go dancing is a great way to make money. I know dancers that do it while they are going for their PHDs or to help out their sick moms. We want to build up go go dancing as something that is not naughty or bad. For a lot of people, it’s a stepping stone and shouldn’t be seen as something inherently bad. With Colbra Entertainment, we want to create a safe and positive gay nightlife culture.
I am working on an underwear line. It’s a capsule collection with Marco Marco. He’ll be launching his underwear line for resale very soon. It will be the world through my eyes in underwear. It’s very lifestyle based in underwear. Marco Marco underwear is very theatrical and fun. That’s what I love about them. It’s very me. That’s why I knew that if I was going to do anything with underwear, Marco is the only option. We share similar aesthetics and views. Marco is also one of my best friends. So, the underwear line is another extension of Colbra.
The Underwear Expert: What can we expect from your two new calendars?
Colby: Colbra has a huge fan base. We’re not pigeon holed into just the gay market. We have a lot of straight fans. From moms and daughters and mom and sons, we have a lot of families following us together as well. It’s an amazing thing to find out that following us is a family thing, its a positive thing they can share. I wanted to offer two calendar options this year. One is called Love Wins. It was a great year for marriage equality. It’s a huge platform that Brandon and I are passionate about. Our engagement photos were really popular. So, I wanted to do something really tasteful and romantic. Not so much modeling. Just something people could connect with and hopefully be touched and inspired by love. That’s our Love Wins calendar. It is a collection of our engagement pictures shot by Gabriel Gastelum, who worked on me with the popular splatter video.
We also wanted to give a sexier calendar option a lot of people will hang on their walls. I really wanted to showcase Brandon and I in a classic, masculine way. I didn’t want to do something like the Adonis spread where it was like look at my hot body. I wanted to do lifestyle, masculine. So, the calendar is about simple, classic, masculine beauty. We’ve had responses. A lot of people love it. Sales are going well. That said, some people are like it’s not nasty enough. But, not everything is big bulges and butts, though there is one butt in there. Photographer Paul Boulon worked on the shoot. I love Paul. So, we were excited to work with him. The calendar comes with three posters. One full length Brandon. One full length of myself. And one spread poster of the two of us.
The Underwear Expert: Have any current underwear company crushes?
Colby: I have become one of the biggest fans of ES this year with their breakout stars Roman and Kirill Dowidoff. I would definitely nominate them as models of the year. The ES Collection campaigns this year have been sickening. The one with the wild animals and their recent Addicted video. I appreciate and respond so well to that. So, they’re my new underwear company crushes. Them and Pump!
The Underwear Expert: What was it like going blonde?
Colby: What I want people to know is that going blonde wasn’t a personal choice. It was for the show. I had never done it and was interested to see what it was going to look like. It was one of the most painful experiences. It gave me chemical burn on my scalp. But, I was going to commit to it. I didn’t want to be known as the guy that went down because of hair dye. It was weird at first. Everyone thought I was Cory Lee. It was strange for Brandon waking up next to a blonde. For the next Blonde Bitches series, I’ll figure something else out. Blonde is absolutely not my color. It’s been a process trying to get back to my natural color. I am a shade of black right now. When we landed after the series, I had to get hair dye. So, I stopped at a CVS. But, life is for living, why not have a little fun. Hair grows back. I’m lucky mine grows back quick.
Blonde Bitches is the behind the scenes of a tour with nightlife personalities. It’s made up of me, Brandon, Cory Lee, Courtney Act, Pandora Boxx, Nova Cayne, and Bambi. Our first episode was set in Austin, where Cory’s from. So, we got to go over to his family’s ranch, interact with the horses, and just have fun. When we started the tour, we had no idea what to expect and what it will be. It’s mainly about the interactions between the personalities. Cory, Brandon, and I will be staples. We’ll be taking it to the next level and continue to get more creative with it. The first promo video of me getting my hair done got close to 60,000 views in a couple of days.
Photo Credit: Brad Hammer, Paul Boulon, Gabriel Gastelum, Colbra