In time for LGBT Pride Month, Opening Ceremony is partnering with Japanese manga artist Jiraiya and streetwear brand/purveyor of erotic gay manga Massive. Jiraiya is a noted gay cartoonist who's been called the "Tom of Finland" for the Land of the Rising Sun with some key aesthetic differences: The men that Jiraiya tends to draw are of the sumo/beefcake variety. For example, one of Massive's standout pieces is this sweatshirt, which features an original print from Jiraiya celebrating gachimuchi love (for you gaijins out there, that's guy love that can only be found between beefy, muscular dudes). It's since sold out, but luckily for us, the new capsule collection includes the same gachimuchi graphic on a new purple gradient. It also has muscle tees with beefy dudes in banana hammocks and robes, pastel beach towels, and this brawny monk slyly winking at us from this long-sleeve pullover.
The collection is the joint effort of publisher and translator Anne Ishii and her business partner, designer Graham Kolbeins. The duo's shared love of hardcore Japanese manga and the large, jolly men that populate it led to a small line of T-shirts on the web featuring artwork with heavies in the genre like Jiraiya and Gengoroh Tagame.
“I have to say, in my interactions with people, they’re often pretty incredulous: ‘Asian men are not typically big, not typically hairy, this is not possible,’” Ishii mused in her New York Times interview when asked about reactions to her clothing. “I say, ‘Why? There are so many different kinds of bodies. Asian guys are not all teeny and slight.’”
Dope clothing and a healthy regard for all body types? Awesome. It's no surprise then that the team's previous offerings have since gone viral in the underground gay hip-hop and trans community, which caught the attention of indie-retailer Opening Ceremony, and the rest is history. Having said that, if you're still looking for something to wear to Pride this year, you're in luck. Items in the collection, which launches this Thursday on Opening Ceremony's website, retail for between $55 and $92.