Take a look behind photographer Douglas Friedman’s camera and you’ll find a man every bit as fascinating as the bold faced names that he documents in such esteemed publications as Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair in his highly stylized aesthetic. Friedman’s bubbling personality and contagious energy have even garnered him the nickname “The Facinator.” Quite simply, Friedman is a fashion darling that everyone likes to have around.
I was lucky enough to meet him at the beginning of his photography career and I can assure you that success and popularity haven’t changed him a bit. He is still the same enthusiastic, fun and confident guy who can spice up any situation with his unique touch. He’s also incredibly open to collaboration and embracing new mediums. So when I joined Designow, Douglas immediately sprang to mind as a potential collaborator. I wasted no time in approaching him to discuss the possibility of a capsule collection and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
“I was just thinking to find a way to brand The Facinator…” he told me. “I’ve spent so much time around clothes the last decade of my life, that naturally I would want to improve upon things that I already love. There are so many things that I’ve thought about designing over the years.” Full of ideas, he jumped at the opportunity.
“I’m a creative person and I love a challenge. I face hurdles every day as a creative person and as a freelancer as there’s no job security but you learn to be cool with it and destroy any anxiety with confidence. That’s why [when approached by Designow], I felt that I just had to go with it,” said Friedman. Ironically, his first thought was not underwear but the Designow team encouraged him to dig deeper. After a few rounds of brainstorming, the idea of men’s underwear surfaced and he ran with it. After all, people need underwear. And lots!
Inspired by British tailoring and fictional hero James Bond in his underwear – very proper, very sexy and never lewd – Friedman considers his two-piece capsule collection the beginning of a fun journey. “I’m not afraid to wander into unfamiliar territory,” says the new designer, who was not at all deterred by a lack of formal training.
”Not being a trained designer, I valued the support I received by the Designow Product Development Team and learned that the details are the most important thing.” Those details include a tiny embroidered “F” on the front of each pair. “Designow gave me the resources and backing to do something that most people can’t do and gave me a career as a designer! Watch out Tommy Hilfiger, I’m coming for you!” he adds.
After years of shooting other people’s campaigns, The Facinator is now calling his own shots, with Instagram as his canvas. “It’s become this wonderful beast that I’ve got to feed on a daily basis but it’s a lot less rigid than my commercial work so it offers a broader picture of who I am and how I see the world,” says Friedman.
In addition to the release of two photography books over the next two years, Friedman is already at work on his next collection with Designow, which, he said, won’t be a “wild departure” from the men’s underwear he has already created. Maybe something for the ladies? We’ll have to wait and see! One thing we know for sure, whatever it is, “it’s going to be huge!”