YASU, Rebel With A Cause
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California. Photo by Kazuhiro Tahara.
Yasu Fukuoka, known as YASU, has always been clear of his goals. He wanted to represent Japan at the Olympics – and he achieved his goal, racing in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics.
But he also wanted to help promote the swimming world and become an aquapreneur.
So he became a budding clothing designer who is building his own fashion brand centered around swimming and the lifestyles of swimmers. Last month, YASU launched I Swim And Travel Around The World, a swimming-centric fashion brand and label. It is the first authentic clothing brand specifically with swimmers in mind. He designs and sells jackets, jeans, sweatshirts, shirts, baseball and knit caps, t-shirts, cases and towels specifically for swimmers.
He explains, “There are outdoor, running and yoga brands that release clothing that can be worn as street wear, but there are no swimwear brands that have developed clothing in the street wear category. So when it came to swimming, there are so many clothing brands out there, but I felt that there was still a deep blue ocean left to explore.”
YASU works with models from the Dutch swimming community including 2016 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim gold medalist Ferry Weertman, world record holder Esmee Vermeulen, Paralympic gold medalist Lisa Kruger, Dutch Olympic team physiotherapist Jan Herber and Dutch Olympic coach Patrick Pearson [see here].
But he also got an Olympic tattoo on his left upper arm, a clear infraction of the code of conduct issued by the Japanese Swimming Federation. But YASU was clear of his intent in getting the tattoo and leaving his successful globetrotting swimming career behind, “I felt refreshed; I knew that I had closed the first chapter of my life.”
And he is now embarking on the next chapter with his new I Swim And Travel Around The World brand. For more information on the nominee for the 2020 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year, visit here.
Copyright © 2008 – 2021 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Southern California native, born 1962, is the creator of the WOWSA Awards, Oceans Seven, Openwaterpedia, Citrus Corps, World Open Water Swimming Association, Daily News of Open Water Swimming, Global Open Water Swimming Conference. He is Chief Executive Officer of KAATSU Global and KAATSU Research Institute. Inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (Honor Swimmer, Class of 2001) and Ice Swimming Hall of Fame (Honor Contributor – Media, Class of 2019), recipient of the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s Poseidon Award (2016), International Swimming Hall of Fame’s Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award (2010), USA Swimming’s Glen S. Hummer Award (2007, 2010) and Harvard University’s John B. Imrie Award (1984). Served on the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee and as Technical Delegate with the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games, and 9-time USA Swimming coaching staff.