Jockey International, Inc. is a manufacturer, distributor and retailer of underwear, sleepwear for men, women, and children. The company is based in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Jockey is known for having invented the first men’s Y-Front brief in 1934. Jockey is a recognized trademark in 120 countries.
Jockey was originally named Coopers Inc., and was founded by Samuel T. Cooper in St. Joseph, Michigan in 1876 as a hosiery business. Cooper began the business when he learned that lumberjacks were suffering from poorly constructed wool socks. In 1900, Cooper began making undergarments. Although business was good enough to merit expansion in 1902, by 1934 Coopers Inc. was nearly bankrupt due to hardships caused by the Great Depression. The company recruited Harry H. Wolf, Sr., to restructure the company.
On January 19, 1935, during a blizzard, Coopers Inc. sold the world’s first briefs at the Marshall Field’s State Street store in downtown Chicago. Designed by an apparel engineer named Arthur Kneibler, briefs dispensed with leg sections and had a Y-shaped overlapping fly. The company dubbed the design the maccky, since it offered a degree of support that had previously only been available from the jockstrap. Macky briefs proved so popular that over 30,000 pairs were sold within three months of their introduction. Coopers, having renamed the company Jockey, sent its Mascul-liner plane to make special deliveries of masculine support briefs to retailers across the US. In 1938, when macky were introduced in the UK, they sold at the rate of 3,000 a week. In 1997 Jockey acquired the seamless panties division of Formfit-Rogers, and sold them under the name Form-Fit (this branding was later discontinued). In 1982, Jockey introduced the Jockey For Her line of intimate apparel and underwear.
In 2000, Jockey began selling products directly on-line.
Jockey manufactured Life and Formfit brands temporarily for Wal-Mart and Target. Jockey continues to manufacture the Life brand of men’s underwear but discontinued the women’s line in 2002. Jockey continues to manufacture both men’s and women’s lines for Target under the JKY brand.
In 2005, Jockey introduced its direct-selling division jockeyp2p.com. The independent sales force, known as Comfort Specialist Consultants, sells products for women. Product lines include outerwear, sportswear, active wear, and accessories. Jockey International Chairman and CEO Debra S. Waller founded Jockey Person to Person to provide women with the opportunity to enjoy a rich family life while making their dreams come true.
Jockey Being Family
Jockey Being Family is Jockey International’s community relations initiative focused on supporting families after they have adopted a child. Through this initiative, Jockey strives to increase awareness of and accessibility to post-adoption services nationwide for adoptive families.