Having emerged on the scene last summer just in time for all the outdoor festivals, Yarness is back with a new set of fetish wear that swaps leather and latex for hand-crocheted, neon-colored yarn. (For the uninitiated, yarn + harness = Yarness.) With a body-positive, pan-gender ethos, Yarness is San Franciscan to the core, such that it popped up in a rave scene on HBO's Looking last year.
While the original collection was mostly riffs on BDSM harnesses, the new set gets even more playful. There's a puppy hood (complete with pink tongue), mesh singlets, a T-shirt whose logo captures the dazzle of Yarness's signature GIF of a full-size human having a good time, and a clutch of jock straps, along with an even more elaborate group of harness designs. Assembled by local seamstresses, it's a conspicuously fair enterprise in an industry awash with exploitation, plus it's keeping creative people tethered to the city where they belong. And there's a puppy leash, too.
“Since 2014, Yarness has traveled to Dallas, Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York, and Barcelona,” says co-creator Ryan Crowder, “setting up shop at gay dance clubs and parties, craft shows, and fetish fairs. Our iconography has traversed even farther, with over 10 million people viewing our GIFs — whether as our status as a meme in China, or a signal that 'Hey, it's Friday!' on Facebook from Kansas to Mexico City.”
Although BDSM culture has come roaring back, it can be altogether self-serious and — inadvertently or not — promotes impossible physiologies over what people here in the ordinary world look like. With its whimsy and creative license, Yarness adds a dose of levity to the scene. If a leather cap belongs to that unsmiling guy who makes sustained eye contact in the alley, Yarness is the friend who tells you you look adorbs while dancing ecstatically at the Shamir show. And from now through Xmas Eve, a special one-hour delivery is available with the code #UberRUSH. Go ahead, adorn that torso!