Jockey International is a privately held company, headquartered in the United States in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Company that would become Jockey International was founded in 1876 not far from the American frontier. It was born with enduring strengths, many of which came from its founder, Samuel T. Cooper, who exemplified the soaring spirit and inventiveness of the people who settled the land as pioneers. The retired minister initially produced socks for lumberjacks, later expanding into underwear and in 1909 revolutionized the union suit. But it was the creation of the first original “brief” in 1934 that catapulted the company into an international success story.
In 1936, Jockey’s Ads in “Life” magazine exposed the brand throughout the English speaking world. Licensing deals followed – Canada was the first in 1936. Britain, Australia, New Zealand in 1938. In the early 40’s Switzerland, Germany and Sweden came on line.
Many innovations in product, selling, displaying and marketing followed through the years. In the 1960’s the Cooper Company changed its name to match the famous Jockey brand and to reflect the international scope of the brand.
Jockey is founded by Samuel T. Cooper whose goal was to revolutionize socks and hosiery.
Samuel Cooper’s sons expand the business from socks to underwear.
The Cooper Underwear Company (now known as Jockey) creates the “Klosed Krotch” union suit. It was the single greatest advancement in underwear at the time. Coopers also puts its underwear in fine packaging and displays it on major retailers’ sales floors – an industry first. Prior to this underwear was kept in boxes behind the counter for modesty’s sake.
In 1934, Coopers invents the first men’s brief called “Jockey® Shorts”, forever changing the underwear landscape. By 1935 the brief is improved with the Y-Front® Brief design, enhancing the garment’s “masculinized support”. In the same year, the company introduced cellophane packaging – an industry first – and patented the brief. In 1938, Coopers hosts the first underwear fashion show featuring the “Cellophane Wedding”. Runway models were swathed in cellophane while modeling underwear, an effort to skirt decency laws of the day.
Artist Frank Hoffman creates the first Jockey® icon, the Jockey® Boy. The icon would last for more than 60 years, with minor updates to keep it fresh. In 1947, the Jockey® brand name is stitched into the waistband of the underwear – another industry first.
The Jockey® Skants® bikini brief is born and considered to be the first bikini-style men’s underwear sold in the U.S.Jockey is also one of the first underwear brands advertised on television, read live by Jack Parr on the Tonight Show.
The Company developed underwear for NASA’s Apollo program that included a very unusual feature-elastic bands on the cuffs that looped around one’s palms for use in zero gravity.
Coopers officially adopts the name of Jockey Menswear, Inc. A year later it would change to Jockey International, Inc. Jockey also partners with professional athletes to model Jockey® underwear for advertising campaigns.
The introduction of Jockey for Her in 1982 makes the most famous name in men’s underwear also the most comfortable name in women’s underwear.
In the 1990's, Jockey launched the “Let’em know you’re Jockey” campaign, which highlighted exciting new products and cutting edge marketing that attained global recognition.
Jockey becomes a founding member of W.R.A.P., the Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production association dedicated to ethical apparel manufacturing.
This was a big year for Jockey! The Jockey 3D-Innovations® collection – underwear designed with 3-dimensional body scanning and featuring a unique, 8-way stretch fabric – is launched, demonstrating Jockey’s continued commitment to innovation.
Jockey rolls out several international websites and key ranges such as Modern Classic, Jockey® Sport and the Colored Y-Front® collection across the world. Jockey also celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the world’s first brief.
Jockey launches the USA Originals Collection in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The USA Originals Collection pays tribute to Jockey’s roots and takes inspiration from traditional American colors, textures, and icons.
Jockey launches a new brand campaign, Show You’re Jockey®! The campaign will unite millions of Jockey fans across the globe, from London to Bangkok, with the simple message that they’re all proud to show they’re Jockey®.
In 2014, Jockey launched USA Originals Women’s Loungewear – designed with the finest fabrics and details for today’s fashion-forward women.
Jockey launches Cotton+ and Jockey® Performance, two modern collections which carry on Jockey’s proud heritage of developing new and innovative underwear.