BWM Awards

Meet the Nominees: Best Bear Retailer

Voting is now open for the second annual Bear World Magazine Awards presented by Bike Athletic in association with Growlr App and the Crown & Anchor.

Take a minute to get to know the nominees for Best Bear Retailer. Then be sure cast your vote by April 30th!


Speaking with brand founder and designer Raymond Teo.

What makes your brand unique? #arjdbb is a division of ARJD BRO BEARS since 2012. We simply believe everyone can be inspired by the outfits they are wearing. ABU is the flagship character we introduced from the beginning, a panda who is self-confident in every aspect. Over the years, a few generations have evolved, yet the story is still ongoing along with the growth of the brand today. Then the tagline PROUDWEAR was introduced in 2020, to indicate who #arjdbb is designed for. The latest collection we have is MOBIUSBEAR as of 2023, which focuses on active and workout outfits, aiming to promote a healthy lifestyle among our members. We are a community-based brand in Malaysia, but you’ll find members from around the world here, especially Asian countries. Together, we are building #arjdbb into a diverse brand that celebrates love and courage!

Why was it important for you to cater to the bear market? I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when I was a kid, so accessibility has always been a challenge in my life. As the founder of #arjdbb, I see inclusivity as crucial for acceptance and care. Regardless of disabilities, genders, or sizes, as a fashion brand, we strive to make our audience proud of who they are and confident beyond measure. With that belief, we began within the bear community, and hopefully, this is where we can make a difference.

Bear Belts

Speaking with brand co-owner Kristian Matthews-Kennington.

What makes your brand unique? Bear Belts stands out in the marketplace by merging style with functionality. Our belts are designed to offer both durability and aesthetic appeal, catering to a lifestyle that values both ruggedness and fashion. What truly sets us apart is our dedication to quality craftsmanship. Each belt is meticulously crafted with attention to detail, ensuring that it not only looks good but also stands the test of time.

Why was it important for you to cater to the bear market? From the outset, Bear Belts was inspired by the ethos of inclusivity. As bigger guys ourselves, we understand the challenge of finding high-quality, stylish accessories that fit well. We are proud to cater to a size range that is often overlooked by mainstream retailers, thereby embracing the true spirit of the bear community—where everyone is welcome, and more importantly, celebrated.

Burly Shirts

Speaking with brand owner Shane Ruff.

What makes your brand unique?  I think the biggest thing that makes Burly Shirts unique is being a one-man shop. I do the design work, all of the hand screen printing, folding and order fulfillment all myself under one roof. –

Why was it important for you to cater to the bear market? I’ve always just tried to come up with designs that I think are fun, unique and something I would wear and knew the only way to go would be to have as many sizes as I could to fit everyone in order to be as inclusive as possible. Lately I’m printing from XS up to 6XL.


Speaking with brand owner and designer Kip Silva.

What makes your brand unique? What I think makes me unique is that every harness, jockstrap singlet, hanky and top that is made has been made by me; a black & gay-owned fetishwear designer/business . From concept to pattern to cutting and sewing all of my pieces. Basically, being my own manufacturing factory.

Why was it important for you to cater to the bear market? When I started KStraps almost nine years ago I saw a community of people that were generally being ignored by the fetish and fashion Industry. Nine years ago there generally nobody was doing size inclusivity. So, I wanted to show love to this community by bringing pieces that spoke to them and remind them that they can express themselves, their fetish and allow them to feel sexy and represented at the same time.

Sugar Plump Fairy

Speaking with brand owner Gerard Frank Long.

What makes your brand unique? Sugar Plump Fairy tees are big on the language of fonts and colours, and we reckon we’re throwing something new into the mix with our particular way of tapping into shared culture (past and present).

T-shirts tell people something about you, and it’s something other people can work with if they need a laugh, want to make a friend, or are even just wondering what cuddling up in bed to the soundtrack of (insert generational music touchstone here) would feel like 😉

What we choose to wear says something about us, whether that be to be seen or to blend in – it’s no surprise to say that we want people to get noticed. Yeah, not every t-shirt design is for everyone, but if just one became your new favourite tee…. that’s a total win for us.

We’ve recently begun working with guest artists, and our first is the very clever @chubbytanuki from California.

Why was it important for you to cater to the bear market? Bears, bellies and fat bottomed boys make our world go round. Currently we stock tees in sizes Small – 5XL, and generally speaking the MO of our designs is to solicit wry smiles from friends (and sometimes strangers) who see things the same way you do.

URS Wearbear

Speaking with brand owner Jerome Tiercelet.

What makes your brand unique? Urs WearBear is much more than just a clothing brand. It is the result of a deep passion for the Bear community. Through UrsWearBear, I aimed to create a logo that transcends the confines of sexuality and instead serves as a symbol of unity and acceptance.

Initially, I didn’t have a clear vision of what UrsWearBear would become. It all began as a playful exploration of imagination. I wanted something cute, something that would evoke memories of childhood, especially our cherished teddy bears, which often served as our trusted companions.

The name “Urs” originates from a personal anecdote. An old partner affectionately called me “my baby URS.” This term, derived from the word “bear” in Romanian, held special meaning for me and became the starting point of this journey.

Thus, UrsWearBear embodies a somewhat whimsical idea, born from a word, a destiny, and a daring gamble. It’s a story that has endured for eight years now, continuing to bring together and comfort those who share a passion for the Bear community.

Why was it important for you to cater to the bear market? At UrsWearBear, I wanted to offer larger sizes because we’ve all experienced the frustration of finding a pair of jeans or a t-shirt from a beloved brand only to realize that the largest size available is XL or a tiny XXL. I also aimed to combine fabrics that would make us feel beautiful and proud. Every fabric I choose and study is selected with the intention that when you wear a garment, it should conform to your body shape, regardless of your size.

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