INSIDE THE CHEEKY BDAY BOX: Michael Yuasa

What is the name of your company? 

Crown Hat NYC

When was the company founded?

2015

Tell us the story of how you brought your company to life.

The Crown Hat was born out of a collaboration between the menswear line Yuasa and Vogue Italia. For their spring 2013 cover story, Vogue Italia asked for a series of custom hats to feature in an editorial photographed by Steven Meisel and styled by Marie-Amelie Sauve. The Crown Hat went into high demand and is now sold individually.

How did you feel after it launched? 

Ineffably thrilled - like it was bringing a lot of joy into the world!

Where do you draw your design inspiration from?

The cut is inspired by classic comic strips, and the bold colors by fabulous drag queens mainly.

Why was it important to you to create an “out & proud” LGBTQ+ company?

I think companies have a big role to play in LGBTQ+ liberation. As soon as you have a platform as big as any successful company does, you have the ability to disseminate a message that will produce tangible change for people: from visibility and representation to actively legitimizing queer lifestyles. 

Was there a defining moment in your company’s history (so far) when you knew you created something special?

Every single time I receive a picture from a fan in a Crown Hat. That our product is so meaningful that wearers around the world feel compelled to take a gorgeous selfie and send it to us - amazing.

What has been the reaction of customers to your brand?

Pure joy. Fashion. Sass.

Any special customer stories that you want to share?

Aja from Drag Race is a huge supporter of Crown Hat - she specially bought some for their music video. Keep an eye out for us!

At FRUITLOOTS, we call all the amazing products that we find our “loot”. What's a favorite piece of “loot” you have created?

We like to "seasonalize" our Crown Hats - think rainbow flag pins in June, tinsel around the edge at Christmas. You know the drill.

Where do you see your company in 10 years?

I think a European expansion is on the horizon. Paris, London, Milan - we’re coming for you.

If you could do a special collaboration with any person in the world, who would it be and why?

Lady Gaga. Imagine! She’s always so fashion forward and daring - Gaga in a Crown Hat would be the ultimate “you’ve made it” and she’d look sooooo GOOD.

Any advice to queer entrepreneurs?

You don’t have to sacrifice your authenticity ever. When you’re able to be the real you, you shine so bright that it’s magnetic; that will serve you well in business, in sales, in life. 

If you could throw a party, with an unlimited budget and you could invite anyone, tell us about the party and who would be there!

Ok, think The Great Gatsby except it’s drag queens. And everyone’s shablamming.

Last question, if you could be any fruit, what would it be and why? 

Peach emoji. Y’all know why.

For more information on Crown Hat NYC and to check out the rest of their collection, click here 

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Photos courtesy of Michael Yuasa & Crown Hat NYC

 

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