David Lauterstein, the main man and CEO of Nasty Pig, chats with Paul Stag about the company’s first 25 years.
Nasty Pig comes of age with this quarter-century anniversary. How are you marking the occasion?
We are celebrating our 25th anniversary in a few ways. But the one I feel most strongly about is the release of all the behind-the-scenes photos and imagery we have produced over the years. We’ve been putting these images up on our Instagram and the reaction has been incredible.
You started before anyone had heard of the internet, Beyoncé, Trump, or the Marvel Universe. What were those early years like?
I came out of the closet in 1993. At the time, the thing that most defined gay men was AIDS. I didn’t want to be defined by a disease. I wanted to be defined by the powerful nature of my sexuality and the culture that comes with it. Nasty Pig has been an expression of that desire since day one.
What is the ethos of the company?
Originally our ethos was ‘Fun Clothing That Gets You Laid’ It’s pretty self-explanatory. We wanted to democratise the fetish scene and open it up to more people.
But people don’t need Nasty Pig to help them get laid anymore, yet we continue to grow and grow and make new fans. I’m in the process of finalizing a new mission statement for the brand that will help guide us forward. It’s very geeky, very exciting stuff.
How has the industry changed over the past 25 years? How have you dealt with the diversification of the fetish scene?
When we started we were the only one in the game doing the ‘fetish meets sportswear’ thing. Now it’s everywhere, along with a bunch of other movements. I FUCKING LOVE IT! The more people who are expressing themselves, the better. We just keep doing what we do and growing Nasty Pig around the world.
What have been your biggest sellers and most memorable products?
Our Union Suits, our original Nasty Pig Rubber PlaySheets™, our NP Jeans, and anything with our Snout Logo dominate our sales. Our logo is a way for guys to flag each other around the world. It’s humbling that they use it to self-identify and connect with each other.
Have you had any celebrity clients?
Probably, but all my customers are equally important.
Who is the one model you have loved seeing in your gear?
Eve Salvail (Canadian supermodel) was definitely the coolest model we’ve ever shot in our stuff. She is a fucking legend.
Do guys ever offer to suck your dick to get free stuff?
No, they just ask for free stuff and they don’t even offer to put out! Hahahaha. We do offer a trick discount, but it is performance-based and renewable every time.
Where do you get your ideas from and which other fetish brands do you personally like?
We take inspiration from historic archetypes that represent the fantasies of our customers. As for fetish brands I like… they aren’t even fetish brands, but they are innovating the gear more than the actual players from within the scene. There are several very, very cool designers that are doing some very sick shit.
What moments have stood out during your time running Nasty Pig?
With 25 years under my belt there are too many to count! But one that stands out is the moment that Manfred Mugler (French superstar fashion designer) became a customer and a fan. Having your idol become your customer is about as good as it gets.
For gay fetish visitors to New York city (NYC), what is the one thing they should do after visiting Nasty Pig?
What is the best and worst thing about living in the Big Apple?
The best thing about living in NYC is that you are living in NYC. The worst thing about living in NYC is the fucking cold in March.
What did you do for the 2019 World Pride in NYC which celebrated 50 years since Stonewall?
I spent time in my store meeting and thanking our customers. I walked the parade with my husband, and we rejoiced in how much progress our community has made since we met 26 years ago. On the Sunday night we went to Alegria and the main room DJ debuted my new track ‘New World Order’. That was mind blowing, as was the intense round of sodomy we got into afterwards (hi Tony and Deric).
We know you love Fire Island, but what are your other favourite holiday destinations?
Costa Rica and Vieques are pretty fucking awesome.
I hear you are the world’s biggest David Bowie fan. Why, and which album would you take to a desert island?
David Bowie was a conceptual revolution. He broke every barrier as he immersed you into his world. You became a tourist in his powerful artistic vision. My favourite album is a tie between Hunky Dory and Heroes.
Did you miss your vocation to be an international DJ travelling the world?
Absolutely not. DJ’ing is a skill I definitely don’t have. I make banging house tracks, but I couldn’t do it without Chad Jack who is the DJ/Producer I’ve collaborated with for 25 years. He’s the one who should be getting those gigs!
As the CEO of one of the world’s best-known gay fetish brands, and probably the best looking, how do you feel personally at this important landmark?
I appreciate the flattery! Hahahaha! I don’t think I live up to that, but I definitely have many things going for me! As for the meat of your question… I feel excited, challenged, intrigued, passionate, and proud. There is so much for me to learn. So much more to do. I’m just so blessed that my Daddy, Frederick Kearney, has been there too. •