Home / ‘Period Panties’: Record-Setting Kickstarter Project Began As A Joke
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The brains behind a record-setting Kickstarter clothing project — underwear that pokes fun at women’s periods — is a single guy who says the idea started as a joke and took six years to bring to market.

Anthony Hall, a 31-year-old graphic artist from Chicago, has raised more than $353,000 in less than a month to finance the production of Period Panties, which feature comical horror-themed cartoon graphics.

That beats the old record for a crowdfunded clothing start-up, set by men’s underwear brand Flint & Tinder when it raised $291,000 two years ago.

Hall, an established commercial artist who typically sells his designs on T-shirts and novelty merchandise through his company Harebrained Inc., was only trying to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter, but blew past that goal in 10 hours. The Period Panties campaign has attracted more than 8,400 backers and has another four days to go before it expires.

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Some choice press mentions (the campaign was featured on the TMZ Live TV show last week) helped boost interest in the campaign, but Hall said it’s the uniqueness of the product and the years he spent developing and refining the concept that explain its unprecedented success.

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“For the past six years, I’ve worked on Period Panties as a hobby and made hundreds of mistakes,” he told Lingerie Talk. “Had I tried doing Kickstarter three or four years ago, the campaign would have been a total disaster and that would have been the end of Period Panties.”

The product line includes 10 original designs printed on women’s briefs, each featuring a cartoon character that lampoons the anguish women endure during their menstrual periods. The lineup of pun-inspired creations includes Evil Beaver, Captain Redbeard, Shark Week, Sour Puss and the somewhat questionable Cunt Dracula.

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Not everyone will find this sort of thing funny, but Hall’s irreverent approach to a familiar and universal dilemma clearly touched a nerve. “Sure, it’s not necessarily the high point of your month,” he says on his Kickstarter page, “but it doesn’t have to be the low point. Half the world menstruates, so why not have some fun with it?”

Period Panties has drawn a small amount of criticism from people who question its tastefulness, but Hall’s Kickstarter and Facebook pages have also been swamped with approving comments and requests for additional styles.

The cotton/elastine panties will sell for $12 a pair and the designs will also be available on shirts and other merchandise through the Harebrained webshop. A $25 donation to the Kickstarter campaign gets you a “reward” of two pairs of the panties, plus two temporary tattoos called “Cramp Stamps”. PP currently offers one brief style in sizes up to 3XL.

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The idea for the money-making collection came six years ago during a conversation with his then-girlfriend, said Hall (above).

“I was joking around with my girlfriend at the time about how ratty and old her “period panties” were,” he said. “I think we both might have been deliriously hungover and I mentioned how funny it would be to design funny underwear for that time of the month.

“We both laughed about it for a while, ate some pizza and took a day-long nap. But when I revisited the idea the next day, it didn’t seem like that bad of an idea. So I started designing them and researching how to make underwear.”

Hall graduated college in 2005 and has created more than 1,000 T-shirt designs in his career. But starting a clothing line presented unique challenges and Period Panties had many false starts.

Hall began screenprinting his designs on blank American Apparel underwear, then selling them at craft fairs. Then he tried a small order from a foreign factory. Finally, with the hope of creating a made-in-America line, he hired a Chicago sewing company to manufacture the panties — with disastrous results.

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“In the end it was really expensive and poor quality,” Hall said. “In fact, after getting that version of the undies made I swore I would never get them made again. Fortunately for me, my fans changed my mind.”

Hall’s company received a steady flow of input (and sales requests) from both fans and female friends (one group calls themselves the “Vag Panel”), which helped him fine-tune the delicate messaging around the brand.

“I do have a bunch of female friends and they all think it’s really funny and are super supportive,” he said. “Every once in a while I’ll get a random text from a friend with a new Period Panties suggestion. It’s always entertaining to get text messages that say ‘How about Raggin’ Dragon?'”

Hall eventually sourced a factory in China that produced high-quality samples and then launched his Kickstarter bid to pay for the first small order. Now, due to the overwhelming demand, the first delivery date to customers has been pushed back a month to mid-May.

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Kickstarter, which debuted less than five years ago, has generated more than $1 billion in pledges for creative projects, more than half of which was pledged in the past year alone. In 2012, a study by two university researchers found there was only a 35% success rate for an average project with a fundraising target of $10,000.

His success with the crowdfunding platform means Hall will likely turn Period Panties into a full-time fashion label, with new characters and styles currently in development along with some “non-menstrual undie ideas”.

And despite his new brand’s provocative message, Hall is confident it won’t hurt him on the dating scene.

“I’d like to think that somewhere out there is a funny lady who loves the concept of Cunt Dracula undies,” he said.

Posted in Lingerie News

2 Responses to “‘Period Panties’: Record-Setting Kickstarter Project Began As A Joke”

  1. Avigayil says:

    Usually I do not have the greatest sense of humour… but these are awesome.

  2. Arthur Bhutic says:

    If I ever was a female, I’d urge Period Panties to manufacture panties to be high-waist, full-butt briefs, which I’d only wear. I am a male, and I only wear high waist boxer briefs!

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