Renaissance Man: Underwear Designer Geovanny
Yesterday's In Brief column featured the sexy designs and models from Geovanny underwear.
Turns out, Geovanny is an actual man. A sexy man. A sexy man who posed for Unzipped magazine not long ago. That issue of the magazine sold out, but fortunately we have the interview here along with some safe-for-work images.
Want to see the NSFW images? Keep reading. We'll tell you how to find them.
Underwear designer Geovanny pushes his boundaries while helping you push your assets.
Words by Winston Gieseke
Photography by Satori Studios
Among Geovanny’s many talents—he’s a dancer, actor, model, clothing designer, and businessman—perhaps the most impressive is his ability to self-motivate. This was immediately apparent upon meeting him last summer at L.A.’s gay pride festival. The booth for his eponymous underwear line was directly opposite Unzipped’s, and his desire to pose for the magazine was even stronger than mine to score free jockstraps. I offered my business card, and within a week we were discussing details of his shoot, the stunning results of which you’re seeing here.
Months later, during a sit-down at the Unzipped offices, I learned that Geovanny has always been a self-starter. After years making a living as a go-go dancer, he decided to branch out. “I’d been a dancer my whole life,” he tells me. “And go-go dancing’s really easy. You just stand on the box and wiggle.” But Geovanny wanted to control his destiny by creating his own work instead of leaving his livelihood in the hands of others. So he put together a show using performers he’d met on the club circuit and began to secure his own bookings. His efforts soon paid off. “We had gigs in Palm Springs every Thursday. On Mondays we were at Hamburger Mary’s in Long Beach, and every Wednesday we were at a club in the [San Fernando] Valley.”
Performing soon snowballed into emceeing. “I used to hire drag queens to host the show,” he explains, “but they were flaky.” One night he found himself frustratingly sans host and with no option but to fill in. “I was terrified of speaking in public, but one of my dancers said, ‘Just go out there and be funny like you are in the dressing room.’” His success that night led to a recurring gig, and his show, “Geovanny and the Boys,” was born.
But the bigger Geovanny’s success, the more problems he faced. “The show really took off. We were doing it three to four times a week locally and being flown to Texas, New Orleans, Florida, and San Francisco on the weekends,” he says. “The dancers ended up getting bigger than the show and would take off to do different things. It became really stressful, because everybody wanted to be the star and everybody wanted to have a say in it.”
After six years the pressures of organizing, hosting, dancing, and traveling took their toll, and one morning Geovanny woke up suffering from Bell’s palsy. “My face was drooping, and I was paralyzed on the right side of my face and arm,” he recalls. “I couldn’t dance, and I couldn’t host.” He ended up in bed for four months. But instead of caving, he spent his convalescence coming up with a plan B.
Now unable to shake his money-maker, Geovanny realized he needed a job that didn’t rely on looks. For years he’d been designing his own costumes, a skill that he says evolved out of necessity. “I didn’t want to wear what was out there,” he says. “I’m not a big guy, and I didn’t fit the stereotypical cop stripper or firefighter. So I just came up with my own.” Fortunately, he had experience modeling for Jocko, and his mentor, founder and CEO Michael Lee, offered to show him the ropes. It didn’t hurt that Geovanny was very familiar with his main demographic. “Gay men love underwear,” he says with a smile. “And they love to mix it up and change it around. So this seemed perfect: I could be in control and I wouldn’t need to put my face on it. Mostly, I thought it would be fun and creative.”
Creativity continues to be Geovanny’s main inspiration, and he continues to explore as many expressions of it as possible. Last year he appeared on truTV’s Operation Repo, and he has a role in the upcoming indie flick Detras Las Puertas. He also has a reality series in the works. “This year I did a tour with three other models. We hit stores in major cities that have been carrying my line. A producer thought it would be interesting to show how we make a living and live our lives in our underwear. We’ve been filming all year and are about to start piecing it together.”
So what led Geovanny to pose in Unzipped? “I’m 32, and in the last two years I’ve become comfortable with my body,” he says with a confident smile. “This is what I’ve got. I’m done trying to change who I am for people, as we tend to do in our 20s. After my Bell’s palsy, I was able to let go of the little things that used to bother me.”
It’s this sort of attitude that always drives this self-motivated man. “I like thinking outside the box and taking risks. Even if you don’t get to the top, at least you tried. It’s the challenges that keep me going.”