Todd Sanfield is a hard-working man. On top of modeling for a new book, “Motel | Hotel” coming out this month, he’s also a full time pharmacy student. But that’s not all: he’s designed, built and now operates his own brand of underwear. Not just a pretty face after all.
Take a look at these photos Todd sent us of his new line, and see if you can get an inkling of how big it is already.
“I’m a pharmacist/entrepreneur/designer and then maybe a model,” Sanfield says. He’s justifiably proud of his pharmacy studies, but perhaps he’s downplaying how much of a model he is. He’s graced the cover of DNA magazine four times, as well as Têtu, France’s biggest gay magazine.
“I had to figure out how to make an underwear brand on my own. And I made some mistakes,” Sanfield admits. “Everything is starting to fall into place right now, but it’s been tough. I didn’t know anybody: I didn’t know manufacturers, I didn’t know one person. All I knew was that I liked the whole design aspect of underwear — they’re loud, like candy, or like baseball cards. Or they’re like shoes — there’s something unique about it, that a guy can collect them and express himself with them. I also knew what I felt sexy in, and had talked about it with my friends before. But as for the idea to start an underwear brand: it just came to me. I didn’t know anybody. Everything that I’ve achieved has been made out of thin air.
Coming from Detroit, Sanfield didn’t have the connections in the modeling industry to capitalize on his initial success when he first started. “I had to work for years to get in this position,” he said. “I had to strategize and think on my own. Things don’t happen overnight — you don’t know who wants to use you. For example, I got the cover of Têtu and DNA while I was at IMG by myself. They liked me, and kept featuring me, and now I’m on the cover of their collector’s edition.”
“I wanted to exercise my mind and build my mind — I wanted to be more on the design side of things,” Sanfield says, by way of explanation of why he decided to move from modeling underwear to making it. “I had always wanted to be a designer but modeling was the only way that I knew how to get into the industry. I take after my mom that way. I took after her personality and characteristics, and took her uniqueness, while my sister was always more similar to my dad.”
Being a model to begin with has its perks when you are starting an underwear brand. “I just so happened to be able to model it myself. I mean, I had already done a couple of men’s magazines. And it also came down to finances. Maybe if I’d had enough money, I could have called an agency and paid for another guy to model my underwear. But ultimately I said, well, who’s going to represent the line the best? Who’s going to photograph the best and represent it the best? And the answer was me, because it was my line.”
Sanfield laughs, “It would be sort of cheesy to wear only my product all the time. I’d like to wear other people’s products just to show that there’s not much difference between my product and a top brand.”
“I think the underwear line’s going to sell,” Sanfield continued. “I’m a hard worker and I’m passionate. I don’t know how big its going to get, but with my passion and perseverance I’m not going to stop until it’s as big as it can be.”