Letters from Our CEO

May 31, 2020: Letter from the CEO

Normally words come easily to me, but I have been trying to write this pride letter to you guys for days. Every time I feel like I get to a place where what I say feels right, things get worse, and the words I had put down in the evening don’t seem appropriate the following morning. So this time I’m just saying what I feel right now because my silence during this time of protest is the worst message I can send.

As LGBTQ people we must remember that Stonewall was a riot. Our predecessors got so enraged with how we were being treated by people in power that we took to the streets. We physically stood up for our right to be treated humanely. Our history is one not just of protest, but of anger and emotion as well. The Stonewall Riots gave rise to what we now call gay pride, and had it not been for the actions of those who came before us, we would not be where we are today.

There are oppressed people right now who are enraged, much as we were fifty one years ago. Stand with them. Expect of yourself the same thing you expect of others when it comes to embracing our experiences and uniquenesses. Institutionalized racism is insidious and in order to vanquish it from our shared consciousness we must see it as an enemy and fight against it until we, not they, can declare victory. This June let’s make sure we recognize that true gay pride stems from a belief that none of us can live in oppression.

Yours in sodomy,
DAVID LAUTERSTEIN
CEO, Nasty Pig Incorporated.

April 22, 2020: Letter from the CEO

Back when Fred and I started Nasty Pig in 1994 there was a very strong movement towards gay people supporting gay companies. I remember guys coming to our very first seventy-two square foot closet of a store and telling us they were happy to support a “gay owned and operated business.” At the time my very on-brand reply to them was “don’t buy our gear because I get fucked in the ass...buy it because it’s competitive.” As with everything else when I was 25, I thought I had all the answers, and over the years I stuck with my witty little saying anytime someone would mention they were buying NP to support a gay company. 

But recently something clicked in my head. When we started this business, AIDS was still claiming our brothers’ and sisters’ lives, and the gay people who had been out before me wanted to make sure that gay money stayed within the gay community because we had to rely on ourselves. No one was coming to our rescue but us. Even though I lost a dozen friends in as many months after we first opened our doors, my elders had literally gone to war and they knew that holding onto gay dollars meant holding onto gay power for our community. They were teaching me a lesson about our survival.

So on behalf of all of you guys who have supported us over the past two and a half decades, Nasty Pig has donated 5000 masks to the Ali Forney Center, an organization dedicated to protecting LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empowering them with the tools needed to live independently. These masks will protect the lives of their staff and the youth they serve for months to come as they find themselves caught on the front lines of battling COVID-19 with fewer resources and more need than ever.

I love you guys and I promise that from now on when someone tells me they bought Nasty Pig to support a gay owned and operated business, all I am going to say is “thank you.”

Yours in sodomy,
DAVID LAUTERSTEIN
CEO, Nasty Pig Incorporated.

March 27, 2020: Letter from the CEO

I hope this letter finds you as well as can be expected. While that’s certainly a blanket statement, I fully recognize that each of you needs a unique blanket with which to keep warm during these chilling times. Your unique set of circumstances make your situation yours alone and whatever you are going through, I’m here to let you know that it’s valid.

One thing I suspect a lot of you guys are grappling with is isolation. It’s a tough nut to swallow for anyone, but it’s especially tough when swallowing nuts is something that brings you so much joy. I mean let’s keep it real kids, anal is a really stellar way to pass the time! We are a very social bunch, and intimate contact plays a major role in what makes us feel happy.

That does not in any way mean things like job security, mortgage payments, health insurance, and the safety of those you love are not top of mind. But when you can’t blow off steam and the kettle is whistling so loudly that you can’t even hear yourself think, it’s not a cute look. At all.

I’m sure many of you find yourselves weighing the risks and rewards of hooking up right now. I am here to tell you that this is a very normal reaction. As someone who lived through the AIDS crisis, I was one of many people who experienced “condom fatigue.” Some of us got tired of not being able to connect with each other the way we truly wanted to, including me. Speaking out about it to friends was met with plenty of judgment, but their judgement didn’t make my feelings any less real, let alone make me feel any better.

So I promise I am not here to judge you, but I am here to urge you to read and follow the guidelines put out by the CDC about sexual contact right now. This is what the experts are saying. I am also letting you know that here in NYC, Covid-19 is impacting people of every age. Some people get sick for a few days, but other people go down for weeks and she doesn’t care if you’re 22 or 42. Trust me, you don’t want her. We at Nasty Pig always talk about wanting to make you guys feel sexy and empowered and I can promise you this ugly bitch will make you feel neither.

Please stay safe guys. I really love you. Being able to serve you guys is the greatest gift I could ever have hoped for and I want every one of you to come out the other side of this mess intact and ready to turn the party out.

Yours in sodomy,
DAVID LAUTERSTEIN
CEO, Nasty Pig Incorporated.

March 15, 2020: Letter from the CEO

I came up here to my office while the rest of my team is working remotely so that I could clear my head and write the obligatory email ensuring you that we are still shipping orders while following the Covid-19 guidelines from the CDC but I can’t in good conscious spit out some formulaic bullshit when we are all on edge.

I know each of you guys is reacting to this differently, but we all have a stake in the game here and none of the news has been good. I can’t imagine anyone not being nervous about some aspect of this crisis. So much has changed over just the past few days and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t in a much better headspace last weekend when everything was still open, including me. God I love quality sling time.

So yes...this is some scary shit we are dealing with, but I have to tell you with fifty years experience under my belt, scary shit has been here before. In my lifetime we’ve been through the cold war, the AIDS crisis, 9/11, the economic crash of 2008, and on a personal note, a cancer diagnosis in 2018. During each of these experiences I thought the world was ending. Each was terrifying. Each caused plenty of pain. In no way am I diminishing the losses each caused, but we ultimately got through each one and landed on our feet.

Now that I’m a Daddy in this community I feel it is my responsibility not to tell you to keep shopping, but to tell you that we will get through this. Humans are a resilient species, especially gay people. In fact we are the strongest motherfuckers I know. Centuries of overcoming persecution are fused into our collective DNA and we have a long history of surviving despite much greater challenges than this. TRUST!

In closing kids, I hate to say it but this ain’t the last time the shit is going to hit the fan. But good news, if anyone knows how to pick that fan up, clean her off and turn her fiercely once the dust settles...it’s you.

Be safe, take this situation seriously, and be gentle with each other.

Yours in sodomy,
DAVID LAUTERSTEIN
CEO, Nasty Pig Incorporated.

September 20, 2019: Letter from the CEO - The Original NASTYPIG

We know many of you guys refer to yourselves as pigs. Some of you even refer to yourselves as Nasty Pigs. It’s become such a widely used term that nowadays when guys use #nastypig on social media they often aren’t even wearing our product. They just use our brand name to convey an attitude with which they associate. It’s pretty fucking cool when you think about it.

But here’s something I should clear up...we didn’t name our company as a play on the use of the word “pig” in gay slang. When we were coming up with a name for our business in 1994, the term pig was nowhere to be found in queer lexicon. So I’m going to grab some bragging rights here…I am 99.9% sure we put it on the map.

So how did we come up with the name NASTYPIG? Well that’s a funny story. We didn’t have any idea what to call our corporation. However, I was obsessed with the “men are pigs” concept that was thrown around by straight women to describe straight men. I wanted to play off of that idea, but I wanted to flip it up and own it for my community. I wanted our brand to embrace the parts of me that were promiscuous and sexual, but at the same time publicly reject misogyny and being an asshole, two things that “men are pigs” evokes, but both of which I find incredibly UNSEXY.

As I was musing on this, our puppy, a cute little female jack russell terrier, began humping my leg. I looked down at her and said, “What are you doing you little nasty pig?!?!?” and in an instant I had found our name. I would call us NASTYPIG after our puppy Piggy Puff.

So I’d like to take this opportunity to pay homage to Piggy Puff, who launched our brand into existence and single pawdedly changed queer culture forever. We love and miss you Piggy and we hope you’re somewhere in doggy heaven humping as many legs as you can find.

Yours in sodomy,
DAVID LAUTERSTEIN
CEO, Nasty Pig Incorporated.

August 30, 2019: Letter from the CEO

This fall marks the 25th Anniversary of Nasty Pig. That’s a pretty impressive achievement for any business, let alone one started by a couple of artists who had no idea what they were doing. While we had a vision for what our brand would become, neither of us had any idea how we would make it happen, what it would look like, or how we would get here.

It’s funny that as we launch our 25th Anniversary collection there’s a new meme going around about Nasty Pig being Lululemon for bears. It’s hilarious and we will gladly take the free publicity. Believe me when I say being compared to a successful line of athleisure wear, albeit one worn by women who drink pumpkin spice lattes, is a sign of real progress for Nasty Pig! Back in 1997 we received a note under our door on 19th Street telling us “Shut your business down. Nasty Pig spreads AIDS!” This literally happened. Being a brand that stood up for queer sexuality in the mid nineties was a VERY VERY VERY unpopular idea. But we stuck to our guns anyway, just as we always have.

Over twenty five years we’ve often been misunderstood, and no one is to blame for this other than me. I’ve always been of the mindset not to worry about what other people think about me, or us. Our path to success was based in focusing our energies on making clothing for our customers and putting out our vision of positive queer sexuality to the world.

But maybe after twenty five years it’s time for me to talk about what Nasty Pig really is: a story of two young artists who fell in love in 1993, not just with each other, but with the very idea of being gay men. We are on a creative journey as the very first queer streetwear brand to empower LGBTQ people to own the things that make you unique. We are entrepreneurs who found success for one reason: we never quit. We think deeply about why we are here and we hope to inspire you to question your presence on this earth because biologically speaking you have purpose. Truth be told...Nasty Pig is a great big poem to you, our community, and we write it for you guys every single day.

So in honor of twenty five years of Nasty Pig we are going to unlock our past and talk about our present so that we as queer people can see our future. Fred and I love you guys so much. Thank you for believing in what we do.

Yours in sodomy,
DAVID LAUTERSTEIN
CEO, Nasty Pig Incorporated.

May 15, 2019: Letter from the CEO

Today marks Fred and my twenty sixth anniversary. We are fortunate enough to be celebrating this occasion in Vieques and the view I have right now as I write this letter is pretty spectacular. It’s times like these that I feel like maybe all of our hard work is paying off. My fingers are crossed. Actually everything is crossed...except my legs of course haha.

Yesterday at dinner when our waiter asked us what brought us to Vieques and we told him of our anniversary, he asked us what so many do: What’s the secret? Everyone wants to know what magical knowledge we possess in order to stay together for so long. So lean in close my dear reader and I will tell you…

There is no secret. Being in a relationship is hard work, and I’m not even talking about the relationship I have with my husband. Being in a relationship with oneself takes a lot of strength. Life just keeps coming at each of us and we wake up every day dodging, adjusting and optimizing to get through it. This goes for me and Fred too. Far from some fairy tale, we both expend a lot of effort keeping it together like everyone else.

Case in point...the reason I’m up so early writing this as opposed to my original plan of sleeping late and waking up in Fred’s arms in paradise is because the owner of this house didn’t mention that there was construction going on right next door, nor that it would commence at 6:45am. Not the type of drilling I was expecting this morning, but what can you do? Keep it together David. Be grateful for what you got and keep it together.

Thank you guys for believing in Nasty Pig. You definitely make keeping it together that much easier.

Yours in sodomy,
DAVID LAUTERSTEIN
CEO, Nasty Pig Incorporated.

December 4, 2018: Army of Lovers/Letter from the CEO

A year ago, as we were designing our current Fall 2018 New World Order collection and thinking about what the mood of the country would be as the midterm elections approached, we wanted to do a t-shirt that paid tribute to the strength of queer people when we act collectively. We were going to use the text “An Army Of Lovers Cannot Fail” but my husband Frederick and I struggled to find an image to convey this message. Then I had an idea…let’s use a picture of our dear friends Gary and Bobby kissing. You see Bobby had been diagnosed with cancer a few years ago,v and the two of them went to war together. They have had to fight that war twice and I am thrilled to report they are doing great. Bobby is cancer free. We reached out to them and pitched the idea and told them we wanted to donate all sales of this shirt to the charity of their choice. They loved it and we put it into work.

This past September, just as we were discussing how to release this shirt to the public, I found myself facing my own call to arms. After being sick for a few days, my bestie Jay, who happens to be a nurse, demanded I go to the ER. While what was making me sick turned out to be a bad case of parasites, the cat scan picked up a mass on my right kidney. A follow up biopsy determined it was cancer. Fortunately it was caught very early and could be cured surgically, so on October 9th I had that demon removed. I am happy to report that I’ve been back at work and lifting again. I’ll be keeping an eye on this situation for years to come but my prognosis is excellent.

Thank God I am alive. I dodged a bullet big time. Good thing because I’m not done with you guys yet. Halloween was the twenty fourth anniversary of the incorporation of Nasty Pig and I am the luckiest guy on earth because I get to spend my days serving my people. My best is yet to come. I’ve got so much more to give. I want to dress you guys up and make you feel sexy and inspire you to follow your dreams for at least another twenty four years.

All sales (every penny and not just the “proceeds”) go to the National LGBT Cancer Network. I’m not making a sales pitch. I’m pretty sure cancer has touched each of your lives, and this is a great way to do something to help fight it while proudly showing off that we queer people have endured centuries of persecution and we still fight and beat the odds every fucking day.

We are an Army of Lovers and we cannot fail. I love you guys and I thank you for allowing me to live this most authentic incredible life. You make it possible. I am humbled by your belief in Nasty Pig.

PS...Being a pig has never let me down. Rimming literally saved my life!

Yours in sodomy,
DAVID LAUTERSTEIN
CEO, Nasty Pig Incorporated.

December 4, 2018: Army of Lovers/Letter from the CEO

A year ago, as we were designing our current Fall 2018 New World Order collection and thinking about what the mood of the country would be as the midterm elections approached, we wanted to do a t-shirt that paid tribute to the strength of queer people when we act collectively. We were going to use the text “An Army Of Lovers Cannot Fail” but my husband Frederick and I struggled to find an image to convey this message. Then I had an idea…let’s use a picture of our dear friends Gary and Bobby kissing. You see Bobby had been diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, and the two of them went to war together. They have had to fight that war twice and I am thrilled to report they are doing great. Bobby is cancer free. We reached out to them and pitched the idea and told them we wanted to donate all sales of this shirt to the charity of their choice. They loved it and we put it into work.

This past September, just as we were discussing how to release this shirt to the public, I found myself facing my own call to arms. After being sick for a few days, my bestie Jay, who happens to be a nurse, demanded I go to the ER. While what was making me sick turned out to be a bad case of parasites, the cat scan picked up a mass on my right kidney. A follow up biopsy determined it was cancer. Fortunately it was caught very early and could be cured surgically, so on October 9th I had that demon removed. I am happy to report that I’ve been back at work and lifting again. I’ll be keeping an eye on this situation for years to come but my prognosis is excellent.

Thank God I am alive. I dodged a bullet big time. Good thing because I’m not done with you guys yet. Halloween was the twenty fourth anniversary of the incorporation of Nasty Pig and I am the luckiest guy on earth because I get to spend my days serving my people. My best is yet to come. I’ve got so much more to give. I want to dress you guys up and make you feel sexy and inspire you to follow your dreams for at least another twenty four years.

All sales (every penny and not just the “proceeds”) go to the National LGBT Cancer Network. I’m not making a sales pitch. I’m pretty sure cancer has touched each of your lives, and this is a great way to do something to help fight it while proudly showing off that we queer people have endured centuries of persecution and we still fight and beat the odds every fucking day.

We are an Army of Lovers and we cannot fail. I love you guys and I thank you for allowing me to live this most authentic incredible life. You make it possible. I am humbled by your belief in Nasty Pig.

PS...Being a pig has never let me down. Rimming literally saved my life!

Yours in sodomy,
DAVID LAUTERSTEIN
CEO, Nasty Pig Incorporated.

August 22, 2018: Letter from the CEO

Nasty Pig was this dream I had in 1994 to create something authentic for my community...something we would believe in and feel. I knew it would speak visually through clothing and verbally through "love letters" and poetry, and I also knew it would invovle house music. The fact that I coudln't sing or play any instruments didn't matter. I didn't know how to make clothing or run a business either but those were just messy details I'd somewhow figure out. I wrote songs in my head and I spent the next fifteen years trying everything I could do to get them out into the world. in 2009 I finally managed to record a few and they were fucking terrible. I mean really terrible!

That same year we were getting ready to go to IML and I asked my best friend Chad Jack, who had been selling mix tapes at Nasty Pig since 1995, to make a mix CD for us to sell there. He layered a voice message I had left him over the opening track to intro the set. It sounded really cool. I told him we should do it again so I went to his house and recorded some vocals specifically for the next CD. This time he laid them over original beats and it sounded great. We put it out and people noticed. They loved it.

In 2010 we released the first official Nasty Pig track and it was huge, climbing to number one on Beatport. Then we produced another, and another, and they were hits. If you love house music and going out to clubs I guarantee you've moved to the sounds of Nasty Pig. I never talked about it much because it was my private joy...to go out and see thousands of guys wearing our gear and dancing to our beats without even knowing it. But it's time to let you know.

Today is my 49th birthday and I am proud to release our latest track and our first music video "This Little Piggy." It took twenty five years to make this particular dream come true but that's the thing about dreams my friends...if you pursue them relentlessly and never put a time limit on making them come true I promise you they will.

Now grab you headphones and prepare to be tunred the fuck up!

Yours in sodomy,
DAVID LAUTERSTEIN
CEO, Nasty Pig Incorporated.

June 19, 2018: Letter from the CEO

I am a poet. It’s the one thing I have been doing since I was a child and it continues to be the means by which I express my life’s experiences. Despite what you may see or what you may think, Nasty Pig is a facet of a poem that I am writing for the world.

Like all poems it reveals itself to both the author and the reader through symbols more so than stories, and my first Gay Pride back in 1993 was a powerful and pivotal one. While dancing on the pier in New York City with my very first boyfriend, who with me started Nasty Pig and today is my husband, I looked around at the thousands of queer people and was overwhelmed by the joy and the energy I felt. It was magic.

Prior to that moment, my only view of gay men gathered en masse was as they marched and protested to save their lives. As a closeted teenager and young adult I had seen the broadcasts of ACT UP protests and AIDS marches and my view of gay men was that of a terrified angry lot, dying in the streets, and I did not want to admit that was my destiny.

But on that day in June I saw that despite facing death right in it’s gaunt and horrific face all the time, these gay men took this moment to fearlessly celebrate their unique identity. The entire world was telling them they were paying a price for their “lifestyle choices,” but not only did they refuse to pay that price, here they were unwilling to accept that judgment. I realized that gay men were actually the strongest, most resilient and vibrant people I had ever seen.

In that moment my poet’s mind wrote that being gay is a gift from God, and my poet’s soul told me that my life’s work was to open that presence. Over the coming months I began dreaming of a world in which queer people were not tolerated or accepted, I dreamt of a world in which we were celebrated as a necessary part of society, revered and cherished for our incredible power. I was going to create something to celebrate that gift not one day a year, but every fucking day of our very fucking lives. And at the heart of that dream was to exalt the one thing that unifies every single one of us, and that is how we fuck. I wouldn’t bury the lead. I wouldn’t blend in. I wouldn’t relegate my sex to a subject not to be discussed for fear of not being accepted, because fear is the stuff of nightmares, not dreams. My love of dick cannot be removed from who I am so my dream became a poem and that poem is Nasty Pig.

So be proud of what you do in bed. Embrace it and explore it and flaunt it all you can. It’s not who you are, but it is what makes you gay, and that, my sisters and brothers, can never be taken away.

Yours in sodomy,
DAVID LAUTERSTEIN
CEO, Nasty Pig Incorporated.

June 9, 2017: Letter from the CEO

We’ve been working on this giant art project called Nasty Pig for almost twenty four years now. People often ask me if I ever imagined when we started that we would achieve so much success and last for such a long time. Truth be told, the answer is yes. Did I have any idea what our company would actually look like? No. I didn’t have a road map to success and a business plan to guide us. I didn’t have financial goals and exit strategies. All we had was a dream. And dreams are never linear and nothing makes sense as they are happening. They are just ethereal and you float through them and the impossible becomes possible. Nasty Pig is literally our dream and we are still helplessly and thankfully drifting through it.

I’m definitely not the boy I was in 1994 when we made our first pair of goggles (yes goggles). I packed them into a pink Hello Kitty knapsack and went out into the nightclubs of New York City and sold them to the hedonists dancing the night into the morning. Each and every time I sold a pair I was overjoyed and I hung out with that stranger who bought them to watch his reaction as he stared through the lenses and the lights erupted in rainbows. I asked him if they made his eyes sweat, was the elastic too tight, was he loving the way the lenses turned up his experience? I wanted to know everything not because it was a means by which to develop our product. I wanted to know if our product was making him feel amazing because that was our dream. It still is. We want to make you guys feel amazing.

That’s a much taller order now that Nasty Pig has grown into a global brand. There are so many gorgeous people in our community and we truly just want to lift all of you guys up. I mean that. We get a lot of feedback, both good and bad, and I know that from the outside looking in we might appear to be this giant company out for profit in a capitalist society. But we were, and still are, two guys, Fred and David, who wake up every day in this Great American Wet Dream hoping to give you guys our best and hear everything you have to say back because we truly do give a fuck about you.

Over the past year we stopped just hearing you though. Over the past year we really started listening. We began to make some changes and improvements and I am happy to say that you will all start to see the hard work we have been putting into Nasty Pig to make it even better. There’s a new website about to launch, an incredible Fall 2017 collection that I feel is the purest vision Nasty Pig has ever achieved, and an ethos we call C2B that summarizes the guiding principle we’ve had since day one, that at the center of this incredible dream come true is you.

Thank you guys for believing in us enough to love us, and sometimes to hate us, but to always have something to say about this dream because your belief makes us come true. People said our company would only succeed when pigs fly. Boy don’t they look small from up here now :@)

Yours in sodomy,
DAVID LAUTERSTEIN
CEO, Nasty Pig Incorporated.

June 13, 2016: Letter from the CEO

This past weekend our LGBT community was the target of the worst mass shooting in US history. Three of the issues that plague the United States…terrorism, gun violence, and hatred towards gay people…all came to a head and we lost 49 people to a man who was ignited in his rage by the sight of two men kissing. All of us here at Nasty Pig wish to send our love and support to the family and friends of the victims of the shooting in Orlando.

Some people within our community have expressed to me that Nasty Pig’s portrayal of gay men in an unapologetic sexual manner damages our standing in society. They feel that at a time when we have won our battles for acceptance we should blend in and go unnoticed. But we can never blend in by removing our desire to love and be intimate with each other from the public eye. In fact, we will only truly blend in when expressions of our physical affection for each other go unnoticed because they are seen as normal. We are gay because we desire the same sex and society must love us for who we truly are or they will hate us for who we pretended to be.

We as LGBT people have a unique opportunity because we exist in every community. We thread together white, black, asian, latin, middle eastern, christian, muslim, jewish, rich, poor. If we can stand together and eliminate homophobia in each of these communities we can truly make the world a better place. At a time when many pride organizations are discussing rebranding themselves as music festivals to be more “relevant”, I feel it is more relevant than ever that we stand up and take pride in who we are and assume our rightful place within the fabric of society.

We matter. We count. We have purpose. We have won the legal right to blend in. Now we must join together and stand out.

Yours in sodomy,
DAVID LAUTERSTEIN
CEO, Nasty Pig Incorporated.

September 4, 2015: Letter from the CEO

I know for many of you this is your last taste of summer. Same here. We at Nasty Pig spent July and August finishing up Spring 2016 and Fall 2016 is now underway. Crazy! We work a year in advance but that’s what it takes to pull this lil company off. Definitely gave myself some downtime over the past couple of months though because running Nasty Pig is not nearly as much fun as being a Nasty Pig! So yeah…bye summer. It’s been cute. But for the past twelve months we have been hard at work creating F/W 2015 and I am happy we are almost ready to explode “Nasty Pig UNCENSORED” all over you. But for now you can click here to check out some of our hot models and get your first glimpses of what’s coming. Have a great Labor Day Weekend guys. And thank you for being the most kick ass customers on earth. For real for real for real.

Yours in sodomy,
DAVID LAUTERSTEIN
CEO, Nasty Pig Incorporated.