The youngest among you probably never heard about Tom of Finland. Tom of Finland is the creator of some of the most iconic imagery of post-war gay culture and is regarded as one of the 20th century’s most influential and recognised artists. His real name was Touko Laaksonen, born in 1920 and died in 1991. His legacy is very much alive today influencing not only gay art but fashion at the same time. You may remember a few years ago a collection by Rufskin, for example, featuring the art of the Finnish artist. To freshen up your memory you can see our presentation of that collection here.
Touko, together with his friend Durk Dehner, in 1984, establish the non-profit Tom of Finland Foundation. As Tom had established worldwide recognition as the master of homo-erotic art, the Foundation’s original purpose was to preserve his vast catalog of work. Several years later the scope was widened to offer a safe haven for all erotic art in response to rampant discrimination against art that portrayed sexual behaviour or generated a sexual response. Today the Foundation continues in its efforts of educating the public as to the cultural merits of erotic art and in promoting healthier, more tolerant attitudes about sexuality.
In February 2017, the Tom of Finland Store was launched as a marketplace for gay art producs (including underwear) with good procured in the spirit of the artist Tom of Finland. The store has also launched it’s very own men’s underwear and apparel brand.
Recently, Tom of Finland Store brought Terry Miller (the official Tom of Finland Store Brand Ambassador) to Tom of Finland’s hometown: Helsinki, Finland. Together with photographer Mikko Rasila, they embarked on a four day photo shoot highlighting some the city’s most notable LGBTQ+ spots and places relating to the late artist, himself.
In the photos below Terry Miller is seen in underwear by Tom of Finland, AVAF x Tom of Finland and CDLP, and swimwear by Slick It Up.