Written by Jasmin Dixon Photographed by Crystal Frost, Cuerton Solomon and "Big Holmes" Daley Contributing reporting from Shaakira DeLoatch
The secret ingredient for this DMV clothing brand is “Hideous Cheese.” Managing design, graphics, and photography, Crystal Frost started the brand in March 2018. She tapped into her zodiac and created a physical form of her alter ego. “Hideous Cheese was inspired by a nickname I chose to enhance,” says Crystal.
“I’m a Virgo, so I can be somewhat of a perfectionist and very logical; but, I also have that complete opposite side of me that’s just down for whatever and does shit that has a high risk factor. And [I] won’t think twice about it.” Hideous Cheese began as an outlet for Crystal to showcase her creative side. Connected to the skate world, she was embraced by the community after a photoshoot in the park.
“[There’s] so much potential in skating; it doesn’t really get shown,” says the designer. Some of her favorite tricks include 360 Flip, stalefish and Superman.“I knew skaters, but once I actually started skating, it allowed me to meet an even bigger diverse community of skaters and active, unique, quirky, genuine people in general,” she explains Crystal. “Skating has also allowed me to meet personalities within myself that I didn’t even know I had.”
Hideous Cheese’s vivid colors fly through half pipes and rails. Japanese-inspired designs can be found on t-shirts, while bike riders pop ATV’s to the sky. In middle school, Crystal was introduced to manga and anime. “Anime tackles serious problems,” says Crystal. You can find her watching “Blue Exorcist,” or “Deadman’s Wonderland,” among many others that have inspired her designs today. Her youth played a central role in curating her brand, but it wasn’t the end. “It doesn’t start or stop with my childhood, because it’s still going on,” Crystal says. “I’m inspired by my whole life.”
“When I get excited, I talk really fast like, ‘Bluhdahduh!’” laughs Crystal. Passionate about her work, she describes Hideous Cheese as fearless, dynamic, and rebellious. Video games like “Freestyle” and “Kingdom Hearts” brought her to a creative fantasy that she is now living out. “I would think, ‘Oh shit, now that I’m older, I can really do it and express it.’”
Having grown up in DC and Maryland, Crystal speaks on what she loves about the area. “They are simultaneously the same and different. Both has its own unique culture that I highly appreciate.” Although locally known, Hideous Cheese has made its way outside of the DMV and to the West Coast. Funded by her creativity, Crystal traveled this year to Complexcon in LA. In addition to geographical places, Hideous Cheese has landed in some very special ones.
“My brand has allowed me to travel into a variety of peoples’ lives … inviting me into their homes, studios, backstage, etc. People have allowed me to step into their private spaces because they value my art, and that is something that still shocks me to this day,” says Crystal. Bold, homegrown and “FOR THE THRILL SEEKERS,” Hideous Cheese continues to make strides in and out of the skate park.
“People forget they can seriously create their own lane and be whatever they want.”
Crystal encourages everyone to go against the norm and take risks. “People forget they can seriously create their own lane and be whatever they want,” she says. “Figure out what makes you happy.”