– By Hemant Persaud

Founder and Creative Director of YUASA, Michael Yuasa, strives for simple but powerful clothing that is minimal, experimental, and innovative. Consciously designed products of quality which are effortless and wearable is at the core of his designs.

A few months after arriving in NYC, Yuasa launched his name-sake and sole product: a men’s short-cut boxer, available in many different colors every season. They are sexy, comfortable, and scream confidence.

Yuasa has collaborated with like-minded companies and personnel in the past, such as photographer Remi Lamande, and each year he creates a collaboration with an LGBTQ artist to raise money for a charity, making positive impacts around NYC communities. This year was no exception of talent.

Michael paired with fashions most sought-after menswear illustrator, Richard Haines – former creative director of Nautica and designer of Calvin Klein and Perry Ellis, to bring his charcoal on paper sketches to life, with an exclusive swimwear collection available at Nordstrom, supporting the Ali Forney Center—whose mission is to “protect LGBTQ youth from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently”.

The vibe at the launch event was beachy, with cocktails and poolside snacks served by beautiful male models sporting pieces from the new swimwear collection, at the recently opened Nordstrom Men’s store near Central Park. Guests were seen making purchases from the collection and mingling, while DJ Michael Magnan hyped it up. The consensus was consistent as one could overhear the rave about how they loved the artwork and the spark between fashion and art. Haines offered live portraiture to the first 10 guests, making at least a $300 donation to the Ali Forney Center and auctioned off some of his original artwork. It was a wonderful night for an equally wonderful cause, highlighting the role that fashion can play, in issues surrounding social causes.