Behind The Scenes Of This Season's Cheesiest Collection

Snack in style.

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Easter is on its way, which means marshmallow chicks, chocolate bunnies and... a Cheetos wardrobe makeover?

As it turns out, Chester Cheetah isn’t just some white-bearded, Morgan Freeman-type character who spends his days aiding and abetting dangerously cheesy schemes – he’s also a fashion maven. In case the deafening crunch of a million Cheeto puffs has snuffed out any whisper from the outside world, we’ll be the bearers of good news: the same company that dazzled us with an 18-karat gold and sapphire jewelry set titled Eye of the Cheetah has partnered up with Betabrand to create the Spring Snack Line 2017. For those unfamiliar with Cheetos' latest collaborator, Betabrand crowdsources ideas for quirky designs and then crowdfunds them into reality. And this quirky idea is a line of clothing and accessories that makes secret snacking look stylish. 


Take for example, the Snackscot, a cheetah-print ascot with a hidden compartment on the inside to stash a packet of cheese puffs. Other marvels include the Snacking Gloves (peel off a layer and your tell-tale orange fingertips never happened) and the Lapkins, a feat of true punning genius, where the pockets of a pair of fetching orange pants have been replaced with napkin fabric. Currently the collection is being voted on by the public, and the most popular of the ten designs will go into production. 

We wanted to know all there is to know about Cheetos x Betabrand,  but seeing as Mr. Cheetah is busy looking at fabric swatches, instead we reached out to Jessica Egbu. Originally from the U.K., Egbu now lives in San Francisco where she works as a community manager at Betabrand. She also heads up her own sun-soaked fashion blog, TheOxfordist – but don't let the name intimidate you: "really I'm just a simple girl with a french fry diet who watches trashy reality T.V. on a regular basis and loves run-on sentences." 

Ahead of the launch of the Spring Snack Line 2017, we asked the questions on everybody's lips – not just how soon can I get my Shoulder Stasher jacket, but also how might this type of crowdsourced fashion affect the industry? And could this clever, tongue-in-cheek collection be the beginning of a more practical, thoughtful approach to design on the whole?

Wheretoget: What was it like working with Cheetos?  
Jessica Egbu: The Cheetos brand makes snacking not only fun to do but also cool – I don't think I’ve ever seen Chester Cheetah without his shades on! Collaborating with them was a perfect fit because we’re all about approaching fashion with a fun and light-hearted outlook – while focusing on designs that are both functional and fashionable. We love combining staple pieces with unconventional ideas, and creating patterns and designs that make you do a double-take. The Cheetos brand exemplifies that same out-of-the-box approach to their products.

We love creating patterns and designs that make you do a double-take.
WTG: Which Cheetos x Betabrand design is your favorite, and why? 
JE: Out of all the amazing products Chester Cheetah created for the Easter season, one of my favorites is the Ladies Secret Shoulder Sweetos Stasher. He's clearly read the modern woman’s mind – or at least mine. I'm always on the go, whether it’s running around San Francisco shooting for TheOxfordist or content creating for Betabrand's social media. When consumed with the day’s responsibilities, stopping for a bite to eat is sometimes neglected. It would be incredible to have a portable stash of snacks with me at all times, and in a fashionable manner at that. This tailored blazer is win-win.

WTG: What advantages does crowdsourced fashion have over traditional modes of design and production? Could this be the future of fashion?
JE: At Betabrand, we believe in publicly showcasing the process that our products pass through, from their conception to their production. Traditionally, brands and designers are hush-hush between seasons because they're busy creating, collaborating and producing pieces for their upcoming collection. Not us. Every time there's a new idea, we let you know. We want your feedback. It's for the people, by the people. Crowdfunding not only helps produce a product you have stood by and supported financially, but also brings you into the process of creating a finished product in the fashion world.

Every time there's a new idea, we let you know.  

WTG: What are some of your favorite pieces that combine fashion and thoughtful design?
JE: I'm transitioning, slowly but surely, from my all-black, minimal phase to pairing Japanese-style basics with tomboy trends. My favorite from Betabrand right now is the SoMaMoto Jacket by Tony Wloch, a womenswear designer based in San Francisco. Its construction is that of a biker jacket, but made with soft brushed ponte instead of leather. Changed. My. Life. Otherwise, I have a couple of other trusty pieces that I can't live without: I wear my Dr. Martens x Madewell Oxfords the most... I can't tell you how much I adore them. Another one is my dad’s black wool coat that I stole two summers ago – I love how huge it is. San Francisco is known for its charming yet unpredictable weather, and this coat not only keeps me warm when needed but is also super stylish, giving me a bit of a masculine edge.

WTG: If you could design one piece of imaginary clothing, what would it be?
JE: Funny you should ask – I'm already in the process of creating this jacket that addresses all of our modern lady worries! I'd love a sleek and effortless black denim layer with huge pockets. This would be for times when I don’t feel like carrying around a bag, but would still like to have my belongings close to me. The design would have internal compartments big enough for a passport (or a bag of Cheetos), credit card slots like the ones in your wallet and pockets for your keys and other necessities... all while looking like you're carrying nothing. Now that would be my dream piece of clothing. Fingers crossed.

Once you've voted for your favorite design from the Cheetos collecion, shop our selection of fierce and functional clothing inspired by Jessica Egbu's style: 
Betabrand SoMaMoto Jacket - $178
Shopbop Steven Pippar Cutout Oxfords - $99
Eloquii Sleeveless Ruffle Bodysuit - $50
Dr. Martens Dupree Patent - $110
ASOS Barneys Original Leather Biker Jacket - $151
Shellys London 'Boston' Oxford - $89
Topshop Moto Frill Denim Jacket - $100
Shellys London Emma Platform Oxford - $120
Alexander Wang Twisted Front T-Shirt - $150
Topshop MOTO Mid Blue Fringe Jeans - $90
Macys Callisto Mathis Block-Heel Mules - $95

All photos courtesy of Jessica Egbu unless otherwise credited. You can follow her on Instagram @theoxfordist or on her blog, TheOxfordist.
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