Former All Black selling underwear brand around the world

Jerome Kaino at All Blacks training this year. Photo: Getty Images
Jerome Kaino. Photo: Getty Images
As former All Black Jerome Kaino winds up his professional rugby career in France with style and prepares to start his coaching career there, he is also taking his undie business global.

Last weekend Kaino played his last home game for Toulouse, marking the occasion by posing afterwards with wife Di and their three young children on the field.

The 38-year-old helped his club win the European Champion's Cup last month and has cemented his name in France. It's understood he will start his desired coaching career there.

Meanwhile, Kaino's underwear business, MINT, has gone global less than eight weeks after launching in New Zealand — and has plans to branch out into the children's market.

He and his business partners — Papakura childhood friends Bayon Kim and Rocky Lokeni — have taken the undie world by storm with sellout online sales and global retail chains wanting to stock them.

"Making MINT has been a team effort between me and the boys," Kaino tells Spy. "We all bring something different to the table. Playing in France, it made sense to push MINT here and we're fortunate people are loving the brand and what it stands for — inclusiveness, diversity and body confidence."

Jerome Kaino's MINT undies brand is proving a hit.
Jerome Kaino's MINT undies brand is proving a hit.
The Māori/Asian and Māori/Samoan heritage the trio share is represented in the waistbands of their signature range. Kaino's star power has seen big sales in rugby nations, surpassing all the growth expectations of the business.

"As well as NZ and France we've also had orders in Ireland, South Africa, the UK and Australia," Kaino says. "The feedback's been amazing. Some of the international front-rowers have replaced their performance skins with MINT, saying they're far more comfy than other big-name brands.

"I think part of it is down to the bamboo fabric we use. It's incredibly soft, light, breathable and durable."

As for the MINI MINT range, Kaino says it was always part of the plan.

"It's an idea we loved creatively and one we thought could bring families together — fathers and sons, uncles, granddads, carers, all wearing their MINT underwear.

"My own boys don't want to wear anything else and I know Rocky's son refuses to wear anything but his red MINTs when he plays rugby on Saturdays."

 

suv-updated-banner_0.jpg

 

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg

Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter