I picked up a story from Culpepper, VA yesterday on my newsreader about a team of high school students who won top place for a 'mantyhose' product they came up with for an entrepreneurial competition.
The article, entitled "CCHS Students Sheer Winners" describes how this team of six students "developed products and pitched business ideas to area professionals" and were selected as the top team from among five finalists in the Entrepreneurial Energy (or, E-Squared) competition held by the local Chamber of Commerce. The winning product was called "Big-Toed Pantyhose" and a secondary one--which caught the attention of my newsreader--was "Big-Toed Mantyhose."
The somewhat awkward-sounding name comes from the design idea of having a separated big toe portion at the foot, allowing the user to wear them with thong sandals. The mantyhose version comes in camouflage and is intended for men to wear while hunting or camping in the woods.
Naturally, I have a keen interest in such a story as this, aside from the admiration for these bright young minds that will be entering the workforce in coming years. I would like to point out to my readers that the fact this team can win a major competition (with $30k in scholarships awarded to them, no less) using an idea that incorporates male legwear into the core concept is yet another example of how public perceptions are continuing to evolve. As we have discussed in many and varied ways here at The Nylon Gene, general acceptance of men wearing nylon hosiery is becoming the default position. These students seem very sharp, and their work involved interviewing local business professionals to gain feedback on product viability (they must not have been aware of ACTIVSKIN, as they did not contact us). In any case, they were obviously not met with derisive comments at the prospect of a men's pantyhose product.
As for the 'big toe' design feature, we have not seen a demand for this on our products as yet, but who knows? If people start wearing hose with thong sandals (which has not been much in evidence thus far), it could be a very prescient idea. In fact, there is a company called ToeHose that makes such a product for women.
Of course, readers will inevitably ask, "Is ACTIVSKIN going to be selling camouflage legwear?" "Is there any ongoing research into this at the massive Granville 'Skunk Works'?" To which my answer would have to be, "I can neither confirm nor deny such activity is taking place."