I’m not sure there has ever been a more out-of-nowhere-yet-somehow-still-obvious link-up than Kerwin Frost and 7-Eleven. The multi-hyphenate creator has carved a squiggly path from SoHo “clout corridor” cool kid to a Kanye collaborator, Kardashian-Jenner documentarian, DJ, Adidas designer, and a renowned interviewed who has chopped it up with everyone from Tyler the Creator to A$AP Rocky to John Mayer. Since he’s been in the spotlight he’s taken to the world of streetwear and influencing like a kid in a candy store and 7-Eleven is… well, practically a candy store.
So I wasn’t shocked to learn Frost had teamed up with the convenience chain late last year to launch Kerwin’s Snack Party Mix Popcorn — a snack mix that consists of white chocolate popcorn, candied chocolate pieces, cinnamon toasted cereal, and chocolate cake mix. But I was surprised to learn that the pair teamed up more extensively for a tactical jumpsuit made specifically for snacking.
The jumpsuit, which is available in both pink and green, features 18 different pockets all pre-loaded with Frost’s favorite snacks. Frost, who has made waves in the world of streetwear and sneakers by infusing some much-needed fun into Adidas roster of designs, is always intensely thoughtful about what he attaches his name to and we’re happy to see that the snack suit is no different. Roll up to the movies in this snack-packed baby and you’ll literally be everyone’s favorite person. Except the movie theater’s — they want you buying those $12 Junior Mints.
We hit up Kerwin Frost to talk about the inspiration behind his latest collaboration and his plans for the future and he shared with us some of his favorite snacks, his style ethos, and the deeper meaning behind his Adidas Superstuffed. Let’s jump in.
What was behind the idea for the snack attack uniform?
Originally we were just going to do the Kerwin’s Snack Party Mix Popcorn, but anytime I work with anyone, any type of collaboration, it’s always important to try to thread deeper than the first initial idea. I’ve always wanted to make this heavy set kind of perfect tactical look but with 7-Eleven, they have always been an inspiration to me and I had gotten inspired by their uniforms from Asia. They have these pink uniforms with a big “7,” I had seen that and it had immediately clicked in my head. What if there was this Matrix-like 7-Eleven uniform that had all these pockets that were tactical and you could pack them up with snacks.
You also never get to see colorful cargo pants or lab coats you know what I mean? They’re normally white, khaki, navy, green, so bringing that fun to those silhouettes, I just overall love creating so I’ll take it as far as I can go.
They loved the idea off top, there was no lag in them wanting to do it or second thoughts, they were just like “all right if you want to take it there yeah there let’s do it” and we got it done really fast and it came out amazing which was awesome.
I just pitched the idea of making clothing and telling that story.
You mentioned 7-Eleven in Asia being an influence, have you ever been to 7-Eleven in Japan?
I have yeah it’s amazing!
For people who don’t know and would assume 7-Eleven is the same everywhere, can you paint a picture for us about what makes 7-Eleven in Japan so special?
The stores have different feelings depending on where they are in the world. In New York, it’s mostly the snacks and the drinks, but in LA some of them have liquor licenses and can sell bottles of liquor. I was talking to someone from Memphis and they were just saying how much that blew them away when they came to LA because in Memphis you couldn’t get liquor on a Sunday in some places.
In Japan though, even more amazing, you can get a bowl of curry and rice.
What are your all-time favorite snacks, what are you loading up the snack suit with?
The snack suit comes with 18 different snacks, we have the 7-Select Gummi Blue Sharks… one second let me grab the list it’s a long one. Apple Snack pie, 7-Select Strawberry Cheesecake, the crispy rice treat, the Replenish Guava Splash drink, the gummi bears, pork rinds, gummi peach rings, ghost pepper peanuts, the sour watermelon wedges, the ginger shot, the 7-Select Caramel Flavored Popcorn, their buffalo chicken dip flavor wavy potato chips, the 7-Select fiery hot flavored potato chips, the 7-Select peanut butter filled pretzels are the last one.
That’s the whole list but I genuinely had them send me every single snack they made and I literally had to eat them all. I didn’t finish them all but I was genuinely testing them to see which ones would be perfect for the suit and I didn’t want to leave anything out, that’s why there is ginger shot and a guava drink and the ghost peanuts. They go deep, there are a lot of 7-Select snacks, it’s a huge variety, but what I love about them is how unique the flavors are.
It sounds like your two styles mesh naturally
It meshes so perfectly it’s like a no-brainer.
I wanted to talk about your distinct style, it’s very iconic and specific to you — playful, full of fun — what’s your general style ethos?
For designing it’s really important to have these threads to the history that I’m into and pop culture. Anytime I design something, my two-year-old daughter has to understand it just as much as an 80-year-old man. I always want it to be something that can float for those two tiers, they can immediately understand it. I always try to have that play of fun and functionality, like the snack suit having all the pockets, you just understand immediately. There is always that thread. If you want to you can have your version or explanation of it really fast but if you dive deep into it there are so many other references with it.
With dressing, I always try to be as honest as possible with how I put something together. A lot of people will think I’m just wearing crazy clothes but there is always a story behind the clothes I’m wearing or how I put them together. I always just try to be honest with my approach and clear with my intent.
You’re a natural collaborator, in a dream scenario who or with what entity would you love to collaborate and what do you imagine doing?
I honestly just want to do more with 7-Eleven. I want to make my own custom Slurpee, I want to own a franchise store, I just want to be fully deep in there… I want my own Slurpee!
What is your all-time favorite sneaker silhouette and why?
The Kerwin Frost Superstuffed! I love that shoe because the genetics of that shoe is unlike any other. A shoe doesn’t exist where it makes your foot appear five sizes bigger, so I think it’s a unique shoe that over time will only be appreciated more.
What was the story behind that, you mentioned that you generally come to something with a deeper, well-thought-out idea.
Yeah yeah, I always go “is It fun?” Yes. But also, “Is there history there?” And it kind of has to do both for me to be married to the idea. With the Superstuffed, to the average person you can look at it and say “oh it’s a bigger shoe for your foot” and that’s just funny and sweet and wholesome. But for me that shoe is symbolic. I used to get sneakers from my older relatives, we didn’t have a lot of money growing up we would have to share clothes and sneakers. So sometimes I would have to end up wearing three sizes up, wear them to school with four pairs of socks, and just have to own it.
So when I finally got my own shoe there was that tie in where it was like “wouldn’t it be sick to make people wear a bigger shoe?” And also there is that tie-in with Run DMC and their impact on sneaker legacy and even streetwear. They kind of invented streetwear, I wouldn’t say invented, but they brought it to the masses and brought it to the place where we were looked at by corporations and our ideas were taken seriously. Touching on all of those aspects and then getting to make that, but again, a toddler or an 80-year-old man can look at that idea and just say “Oh my god, haha big shoe!” And that’s good enough for me too.
Getting Kero Kero Bonito to play at Kerwin’s Kingdom at ComplexCon makes so much sense. They’re also very easy to understand, once you see it and hear it you get it immediately.
Yes, oh my god that’s so true, but if you wanted to dive in there are so many references. That is a really really good tie-in that’s so true.
That video for “Sneaker Dance” was dope too
Thank you, we did that together, it took us, we spent a month talking about it over the phone and talking about the different concepts and passing it around together.
What can we expect for you going into 2022?
Just more! I don’t think I’m stopping anytime soon. I’m finally being able to create these magical things and I’ve very grateful for it, so trying to hone in on that as much as possible.
Both Kerwin Frost’s Snack Party Mix and Snack Suit can be found exclusively at Kerwin’s Kingdom.