Tyler at Silver Models, NYC.

Tyler is wearing the Baskit Underwear Sawed-Off Brief from the "Beauties Collection, Hobby Horse".


1. Baskit Photo Shoot, Summer 2007, NYC

Baskit Underwear Photo Shoot
Summer 2007 - New York City

Baskit Owner: Eric Schwers
Models: Kris, Brandon and Bryan
Photography: Bruno Rand

Baskit Underwear: "Contrasts" Bikini Briefs. (On Kris, black/empire yellow, on Brandon, bronze green/vermillion orange, on Bryan, brown stone/white.)


2. Running the Estrogen Gauntlet

Baskit Swimsuits: "Lucky 7" Bikinis. (On Kris, bronze green, on Brandon, dubai grey, on Bryan, riviera blue.)

We started the day in Central Park, at the Bethesda Fountain. Baskit owner Eric wanted a backdrop which would resemble a lake, or some sort of body of water; it made sense, we were shooting swimsuits after all. Little did we suspect that this was also the day of the Susan G. Koman "Race for the Cure" in Central Park, thus, thousands of pumped-up, estrogen-charged women were swarming the place, hormones ablaze.

As the models, Kris, Brandon and Bryan, stood behind the Bethesda Fountain, stripping naked to don the Baskit swimsuits, it was just a matter of minutes before women started to circle the shoot. At first I thought it would amount to innocent fun, but as the crowd of leering women grew larger, the shouts began, "Hey, baby, take it off!", and "Whew, I like what I see!" Here we were, five grown men, and I began to fear for our safety. I imagined this was what it must feel like to be a Chippendale's dancer in a sea of rowdy, drunken women who refuse to go home until they've fondled something male-related.

I would take a few pics, turn around to look at the crowd, take a few more pics, turn around, and each time I turned around, the crowd had grown larger and more vocal. I reminded myself that horny women, like dogs, can smell fear, so I tried to compose myself. The most embarrassing moment was when I noticed very young girls in the crowd. I thought, "Oh great, on top of making my models feel like cheap sluts, now I've exposed pre-pubescent girls to their first experience with porn." Sensing that this situation was headed down-hill fast, and with the appearance of the NYPD Blue probably eminent, we quickly wrapped up and headed out. As we scampered away, several women expressed their very real disappointment with our exit, but luckily, we made it out, our man-bits safely intact.


3. a. Street Walking

We were walking through the East Village, on our way to the next shoot location, when I decided we should shoot a street scene, with the models in the middle of the street. Kris, who's from Las Vegas, started to notice what makes New York what it is, i.e. the old ladies doing their shopping; the passed out, possibly dead, drunk on the sidewalk, (notice the leg sticking out from behind the black car); and lots and lots of traffic to be dodged, (if you want to live).

3. b.

Bryan, who's from Philly, and a little more conditioned to NYC, went with it, and began to flirt with passers-by, pretending to hitch-hike. Kris wasn't as ready to interact with the living New Yorkers, but, to his credit, he did walk onto the sidewalk at one point to check on the dead guy.

3. c.

The ladies in the red car weren't quite sure what to think, they didn't know whether to roll up their windows and call the police, or give in to their more base, carnal natures. What you can't see is the lady in the passenger seat opting for the latter, and waving giddily at Bryan, a huge smile on her face.

3. d.

See the panicked looks on their faces? This is called
"traffic dodging", or just when the shot is ready to take, a car comes speeding down the street. At this moment the guys were jumping out of the way of a gigantic NYC garbage truck barreling toward us, which looked to be driven by some crazed thugs from Jersey who didn't seem to enjoy seeing nearly naked grown men in the middle of the street in broad daylight and decided it was their mission to wipe them out.

3. e.

The final result.

Baskit Underwear: "Basics". (On Kris, boxer brief, on Bryan, bikini brief, and on Brandon, low-rise trunk.)


4. a. Strapping It On

Baskit Underwear. (On Brandon, "Body Art" Jock.)

If you think shooting swimwear and underwear in the city made for awkward situations, imagine what it was like to shoot the guys in jockstraps.

We paused in the East Village in front of a popular Japanese sushi restaurant because Baskit Owner Eric wanted a backdrop which would match the "Japanese Body Art" underwear pieces. As Brandon stood in place for this shot, there were two Spanish speaking construction workers eating their lunch directly behind the wire fence behind Brandon. Eric noticed that when they turned and saw a man's large pair of white buttocks staring right at them, they yelped loudly, spit out half a sandwich, then jumped up and ran down the sidewalk, cursing in Spanish the whole way.


4. b.

Baskit Underwear, "Action Cool" Jocks. (On Kris, bronze green, on Bryan, riviera blue, on Brandon, vermillion orange.)

We were running from the Susan G. Koman crazy race ladies, when we came upon Sheep Meadow in Central Park. We knew stripping the guys down to jocks was probably forbidden in Central Park, but at this point, we thought, "What the hell." Luckily, no police arrived, but just before we took this shot, some LaLeche League/Mother's Day Out/Baby Stroller gang of women with their babies in strollers went jogging by. They all stared in stunned silence at the three pairs of buttocks before them, but none of the women said a word, until they were almost past, when the youngest mother in the group finally whistled admiringly with a large grin on her face. Welcome to New York, a great city and home to what are, undoubtedly, the horniest women in the world!


4. c.

After scaring, or titillating half the city's population with the models' bare butts, we decided to find some privacy to shoot the remainder of the Jocks collection. This alleyway in the East Village proved to be a fantastic location for a shot.
Baskit Underwear "Action Cool" Jock.
(On Bryan, bronze green.)



Meet the Owner of Baskit, Eric Schwers

How does a consultant on U.S. national security issues end up owning a men's underwear company? And how does someone who never worked for even a day in the clothing business make a success out of the one of the earliest names in men's underwear and apparel?

Meet Eric Schwers, a Colorado native, who spent the first 13 years of his career working as a consultant for U.S. and foreign countries around the world. Before taking the helm at Baskit, Eric worked on national security projects ranging from airport security, to the human slave trade and heroin trafficking. Exciting stuff, no doubt, but Eric missed working in business for himself.

In late 2006, Eric was living and working in London when he happened to go to dinner, through mutual friends, with the owners of the Baskit Underwear company. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! At one point, the owners mentioned selling the company, and that was all Eric needed to hear. "They had other offers, but I hounded them into selling to me," Eric says. "Having a personal relationship through our mutual friend and my enthusiasm for the brand made the difference."

Upon taking control of the company, Eric admittedly had no idea how to run a clothing company, but he did know something about business, how to negotiate, and how to recognize talent. Eric further explains, "I made a list of everything I didn't understand and then turned to people in the business who did." He kept the company's original designers and salespeople, and spent the next several months working to create the new look of the brand. The company had fallen into limbo, with many national department stores discontinuing the Baskit line because there wasn't enough product to fill orders and marketing for the company had all but disappeared. When Eric wasn't feverishly working with the factory and designers creating the new line, he was busy repairing relationships with buyers and stores and trying to invent a new marketing campaign.

Despite his lack of experience in the business, Eric is not afraid to call his own shots. Unlike a lot of the other underwear companies who have jumped on the bamboo and soy bandwagon, Eric has decided to stick with cotton as the fabric for Baskit. "Cotton wears well, is durable, " Eric explains, "and working with organic cotton will allow us to keep the environmentally-friendly integrity of the product."

Being socially conscious is great, but the new Baskit line also promises to be a lot of fun. "The two collections about which I'm most excited are the "Beauties" and the "Body Art" lines," Eric explains. Eric was visiting a friend on an Air Force base when he noticed the World War II-era paintings of pin-up girls on the fuselages of the planes, and the "Beauties" collection was born. Each pair of underwear in this collection has an image of a pin-up girl meticulously printed on the right leg of the garment. The "Beauties" were the sensation of the MAGIC apparel show in Las Vegas this summer where Eric re-launched the brand. The "Body Art" line is a recreation of a man's actual body tattoos. Eric was working out at a gym in London when he noticed a Japanese man whose entire body was covered with tattoos, or traditional Japanese body art. Eric asked to take a picture of his body, and later transferred the actual design of the tattoo art onto the underwear.

Eric is very excited about the future of Baskit. "Already, we've placed hundreds of orders nation-wide and will soon reappear in many of the stores which had carried Baskit in the past. I want the brand to be functional, but also fun and sexy, and most importantly, I want guys to get excited about buying and wearing the underwear." Traditionally, the buyers of men's underwear have been gay men and women who buy the underwear for their husbands, sons, boyfriends, etc. But Eric feels that straight guys will love the look of the new lines, just as much as the gay guys, and will feel completely comfortable not only buying it, but wearing it on any occasion.

For more information, please post your questions or comments by clicking on the "Comments" tag below.