Inked Magazine Interview: Nasty Pig

Since 1994 Nasty Pig CEO David Lauterstein and his partner Creative Director Fred Kearney have been making clothes that get you laid. These tattooed brand owners create products for the masculine, sexually self-assured man who oozes confidence. Their progressive attitude and durable products have garnered a strong fan base who stand behind the brand so wholeheartedly that they are willing to get the logo tattooed on their bodies.  

Inked: What was your first tattoo?

David: My first tattoo was a tiny D with wings, which I got in 1994, when I kind of felt like I was starting to fly. So the D was for David and I just felt my life taking off.

Fred: My first tattoo is a Celtic braid coming out of a dragon, wrapping around an old world globe. It’s buried within the larger tattoo that I now have.

Inked: What’s your most memorable tattoo?

David: I got one on my waist and it says “Daddy” in a heart, which is kind of my nickname for him. I got it, his appendix ruptured while we were on Fire Island and he told me to go back into the city and I told him I wouldn’t leave him and it turns out if I would have left him he probably wouldn’t have made it. He has this huge gnarly scar from his appendix, so I scared myself basically to kind of honor it.

Fred: My tattoo is all one at this point but the part that I have the Chinese kanji for messenger from heaven, which is angel, which is what I refer to as him from when we first met.

Inked: Why do you think consumers get your logo tattooed?

David: We have a really deep connection with our customers. We haven’t really done any advertising or direct marketing, our customers find us. We represent a kind of masculinity but without any room for misogyny or negativity. I think our customers really like this juxtaposition of this sort of hyper masculine image but with this sort of gentlemanly way about it. We think we’re connected with them on a deeper level then even we understand. That’s what I’ve been recently told by marketing research firms. I think they just really connect with our message which is have fun but be a good guy, don’t hate women.

Inked: Where did the logo design come from?

David: The logo design is a pig snout with the N and the P as the nostrils. We designed it with a gentleman who we are working with and it came from really the need, like with any great brand, the feeling to encapsulate what your about in one little moment.

Inked: When did you start the brand?

David: We started making clothing for friends in ’93 but the government stamped us on October 31, 1994. We started buying fabric, making clothing for friends and then we saw an 8 by 9 storefront on 22 St., which is literally a closet with a door. The rent was $500 a month so we thought you know what if we can’t make $500 on cloths a month we shouldn’t be in business. That’s how we got started, no business experience, no nothing, we just wanted to make clothes that gets you laid.

Inked: Are your designs influenced by tattoo culture?

Fred: Absolutely we have certain archetypes that we design for and people that we pull from and people that we don’t. Rock and roll, tattoo culture, skateboard and punk, a lot of street influence, we are a street wear brand. We pull things online and put them in folders and categories them and then when the season starts we pull them out and we do the storyboards like that.

Inked: Who do you see wearing your line?

David: What’s interesting is that we see a lot of very attractive gay men wearing it, but recently we’ve started to see young straight guys that identify with the authenticity of it. They kind of like that we don’t water ourselves down and we are also starting to see a lot of girls buying out underwear for their boyfriends. It seems to be this kind of male lingerie thing, like “oh my mans a nasty pig.” I think it ties in with the non-misogyny thing, our brand really represents this hyped up masculinity but it’s our version of it.

Inked: Where can you purchase Nasty Pig?

David: We have a flagship store on 19 St. and 8th Avenue and then we have a hyperactive ecommerce site. We sell our product to better specialty stores and fetish stores around the world.

Inked: What are your best selling pieces?

David: Our best selling pieces, lets see. We do great with the t-shirt line where we use different artists. We sell an enormous amount of underwear, probably our number one category is underwear, and we do really well with our rubber sheets.

Inked: What’s next?

David: That’s a really good question. We don’t fit neatly into any category in the fashion industry so what’s next for us is to be the best possible version of Nasty Pig we can be and continue to connect with out customers. We are skipping the industry, we are working around them, if you don’t fit in an industry make it fit to you.


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