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    HomeCultureAll Man: The International Male Story is Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

    All Man: The International Male Story is Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

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    “All Man: The International Male Story is now streaming on Amazon Prime. The documentary about the mail-order clothing company that revolutionized men’s fashion is currently available to rent for $4.99.

    The story journeys across three decades of the catalog’s unlikely but lasting impact on fashion, masculinity, and sexuality in America. Gene Burkard, a once-closeted Midwesterner and GI, found freedom in San Diego, where he transformed men’s fashion into something cosmopolitan, carefree and trend-setting. International Male reached gay and straight customers alike as it redefined images of masculinity in American culture, generating revenue and circulation in the millions. This character-driven documentary crafts a portrait of a band of outsiders who changed the way men would look – at themselves, at each other and how the world would look at them. This is their story, courtesy of Giant Pictures, is a modern-day fairy tale about a dream that really did come true.

    Some may remember the International Male retail store in West Hollywood in the early 90s, on Santa Monica Boulevard and La Peer Ave (across the street from Studio One disco) before it moved east to Holloway Dr and Santa Monica Blvd, in the mid 90s. It didn’t last long at that location before shutting down completely.

    The brand offered a combination of sensuality and theatricality that left an impression. The client base encompassed mature gay men with a penchant for flamboyance, reminiscent of Liberace with those flowing pirate shirts, as well as the barely there attire for the younger male guys not afraid to show it all off.

    Narrated by Matt Bomer, the film by Brin Darling and Jesse Finley Reed delves into the concealed realities behind the scenes. Contrary to popular belief, most of the models employed by International Male were straight, and many customers were women purchasing clothing for their husbands or boyfriends. Despite the catalog’s limited representation, the diverse customer base included numerous non-white individuals. These individuals viewed the flamboyant garments as fodder for romantic fantasies, evoking scenes from captivating romance novels rather than everyday wear.

    Many believe International Male played a significant role in liberating men from the monotonous conformity of mid-century fashion, dominated by grey flannel suits. The company experienced both soaring success and eventual decline. This documentary serves as a lighthearted and nostalgic tribute to this cultural phenomenon. Much like perusing an old International Male catalog, it offers both visually stimulating content and moments of amused bewilderment at the audacious fashion choices.

    For those who would rather watch it in person on a bigger screen, All Male is also playing at the Laemmle NoHo 7 on July 12 and 13:


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