The world-famous fetish brand Boxer is best known for the distinctive ‘X’ logo which appears on much of their superbly designed gear. The brand is now 10 years old, but it is not standing still. Its influence has spread from Spain’s gay capital Barcelona across Europe and Boxer now counts stores in Gran Canaria, London, and Berlin. Boxer gear can also be found in many general fetish stores the world over. The brand is also using the incredibly hunky muscled porn star, and former Titan exclusive, Aymeric Deville as their public face. And they are expanding into the online fetish world, have established the ‘Cafe Bar’, and their fourth line – X-Boyz. Cameron Mellalieu, the boss and chief co-designer, spoke to Paul Stag about Boxer’s next ten years – and beyond.
“We have just opened our first Boxer Cafe Bar in Barcelona and completed the first month of operation,” explains Cameron Mellalieu. “It’s not what people may expect: there’s no darkroom. But then our shops have never had cabins either. Barcelona already has those bars and we didn’t want to compete with our friends of many years who have supported our shop project from the beginning.
“We decided to create a more cultural cafe bar which is open from the early afternoon. We want to promote fetish culture through art, talks, group meetings, as well as coffee, snacks, and a lot of alcohol. We’ll host events like Barcelona Rubber Weekend and be a daytime stop-off point for the many gay tourists in Barcelona who complain that such a venue doesn’t exist. Barcelona only gets going from 23.00. For many tourists, that is when they’d like to be having their last drink.
“Boxer Cafe Bar currently opens from 16.00 to 01.30. But once we have our terrace licence we’ll open from 12.00 noon. It’s all about visibility. Gays in Barcelona have some of the most advanced rights in the world and a liberal local population who really don’t give a fuck (in the best sense) what we get up to. So why do we hide inside bars with no windows? For those who go to Berlin the concept may be best understood as something like a Spanish version of Prinzknecht, a place for the afternoon and to start the night before you get down to the serious stuff.
“Our latest line is X-Boyz. For years we’ve been using all sorts of individual names for lines of gear: such as BXR on sporty stuff that you can wear to the gym and ‘Boxer Vintage Leather’ for our deluxe range of leather gear. X-Boyz is aimed at younger guys who are looking for club or beach gear and underwear.
“Boxer Barcelona has always wanted to be a shop that any gay can walk into and find something he likes. He shouldn’t be afraid to wear it, or ask about fetish gear whilst buying something that is easier to wear on a first visit to a fetish venue. But these other concepts are lines rather than entirely separate brands. This means that the Boxer Barcelona range on offer can be quite different in a store in Miami or a store in London. There’s a core identity and spirit, but we reach different audiences. You need to draw people in, and we love drawing them in!!
“This past spring our flagship Barcelona store was extended to incorporate X-Boyz on the top floor. The shop now has four separate areas: Boxer Barcelona (sports fetish), X-Boyz (club, beach, and party wear), Boxer Vintage Leather with BDSM and rubber, and finally the Sex Shop. The store is huge, I think we can safely say it’s the largest fetish store in Europe and the second largest in the world after Mr S, San Francisco. Virtually everything is made by us. Two exceptions are Embossy Boots and the Mr S Pup gear.
“The four different concepts have also been introduced into our larger stores. For example, the Gran Canaria store has four sections. In Berlin we’ve tried to divide the store into four quarters, Madrid as well.
“We’re kind of unusual compared to most fetish stores which just tend to open and stay in one place. But we’ve always chosen locations with hidden extra space which we could eventually move into, or where we hope to rent an adjacent unit later. It’s taken a long time, but we know where we are going.
“Today Boxer sells over 8,000 products, most of them designed by Spin and me. Our next goal is to open an online store which is as sexy as our physical stores.
“We’re proud that we keep designing and coming up with fresh ideas. And we always plough the profits back into developing new concepts. It has been an incredible first 10 years and we are very excited about what is coming next.”
Boxer Barcelona now has four separate areas at the flagship store: Boxer Barcelona, X-Boyz, Boxer Vintage Leather and the Sex Shop.
Boxer Cafe bar
Boxer recently opened a bar in Barcelona.