Nicholas Graham, founder and CUO (Chief Underpants Officer) of the ubiquitous Joe Boxer brand, changed the face of fashion when he turned his “little” underwear company into one of America’s most popular lifestyle brands. Graham is now bringing his wildly successful creative philosophy and unconventional business methods to the rest of the world via his 100 Minute Company.
At a pivotal time in history when the collective attention span is getting shorter by the minute, people hunger for new ways to buy and to sell everything. By believing that people simply long to have access, and to enjoy, everything from fashion, to music, to film, to travel, to books, and everything in-between, Graham founded the 100 Minute Company to maximize his theory that brands need to be more expansive in their thinking across multiple platforms, just as their consumers do. Graham’s irreverent yet spot-on business acumen delivers a new vehicle for producers and consumers alike to get what they want… and to have fun in the process.
A native of Calgary, Canada, Nick Graham was 27 when he moved to San Francisco in 1985 to pursue music. In the midst of the post-punk evolution, he found himself starting a small business out of his flat, making men's novelty ties for rockers who fancied a bit more sophistication in their garb. Convinced the stuffy world of men's undergarments also needed his unconventional stamp, Graham turned his sights to designing men's underwear. Possessing a highly developed sense of humor—and penchant for the irreverent—he drew upon his graphic design background to create a line of boxer shorts with unexpected designs.
Under Graham's direction, Joe Boxer eventually produced more than 1,000 eye-catching designs annually, for a broad range of well-made, affordable lifestyle apparel in everything from underwear, sleepwear, loungewear, to home furnishings. Marketed internationally, Joe Boxer developed an impressive global base of loyal fans that eagerly awaited each new collection. Graham's bold, humorous and unexpected graphic patterns have broadly informed fashion trends for years. He infused “fun” into the business and his ideas have been incorporated throughout the industry ever since.
Graham has earned several of the top fashion industry awards, including the Woolmark and Marty Awards, the Absolut Golden Shears and MIRA Awards, and multiple Earnie Awards, as well as advertising’s coveted CLIO. In 2001, he brokered the landmark deal between Joe Boxer and KMart… the brand’s new home.
Ultimately, Graham's eccentric charisma and seat-of-the-pants marketing style transformed Joe Boxer, the underwear company, into Joe Boxer, the entertainment company. As Graham says, "The brand is an amusement park, and the product is the souvenir." While he continues to act as Chief Underpants Officer, he also heads up 100 Minute Company, where his clients benefit from the self-admitted Attention Deficit Disorder that translates his theories for success on all fronts, from entertainment to media to product development. A popular public speaker, Graham is a sought-after presenter of new ideas.