Years ago online I saw a guy who knitted jockstraps. Admittedly, my first thought was "how on earth is that functional"? Years passed and I began embracing my passion for underwear and one thing lead to another and suddenly I was presented with the opportunity to try a knitted jockstrap. I let go of my negative thoughts and embraced wearable art.
Not only did J.R. (the genius behind Haus of Betch) present me the opportunity to try one of his works of art, he gave me the honor of trying one that was part of a collection inspired by one of my favorite shows, Schitts Creek. If you're familiar with the show, you may remember a cabaret episode from which my creation was inspired. I had no idea what J.R. had in store for me so it was a delightful surprise when I opened the package when it arrived.
Admiring someones work online is one thing, but seeing it, touching it, and feeling it in person take it to another level. I am constantly blown away by the creativity, level of detail, and quality of work that J.R. puts into his wearable art. In addition to the Schitts Creek inspired jock, I've also been the recipient of a Drop Dead Gorgeous inspired jock, which was even more detailed than the first. That betch really knows how to step up his game each and every time.
Another great Haus of Betch creation that I fell in love with was a piece created for hair stylist, Hairplay63z on Instagram. The look was flawless and again I was blown away by the level of detail of this jockstrap meets stylist utility belt look. Not only is it a wonderful and creative work of art, it is actually functional. Just thinking of the time it takes to knit a scarf seems exhausting to me, I cannot begin to imagine the time and love that gets knitted into each Haus of Betch creation.
Being the fangirl that I am, I had to learn more about the work of Haus of Betch, so read on and learn more with me.
First and foremost, where did you get the idea to knit jockstraps?
Funny story- It wasn't even my idea! I took up knitting, because I heard it would help with my anxiety (it absolutely does btw), plus I had always wanted to learn how to make a scarf. Not knowing the first thing about anything, I picked up needles, yarn and took to YouTube. The jocks came in as kind of a dare, when this handsome fella I was crushing pretty hard on at the time suggested I hit him up once I figured out a jockstrap. Uhm, never ever challenge a Scorpio to the radical, outlandish, unattainable or absurd....we will find a way!
How long have you been creating these works of art?
It took me a sec to get comfortable whenever someone uses art and artist, but ultra-flattered when people see it that way. It's been an evolution, but I have been knitting for the past 3 years.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
90% of all pieces are just personal challenges to see if I can find a way to interpret some of my favorite pop culture references into a tiny canvas. Like sometimes I wake up and am like....I think the world is lacking #hearmeout Saved By The Bell, but in underwear form LOL! I also like to use very real references as well; I did an event earlier this year and got to share my culture (Chicano) and last year, I did a series inspired by Girl Interrupted for Mental Health Awareness Month, which I am a huge advocate for.
What would you say to the guys who think "that would never look good on my body"
Your work has been found on a diverse range of guys. Is that intentional?
100% Somewhere a very long time ago, someone marketed beauty in a very small box with a bow and we bought it. It is because of that thinking, that I grew up in So Cali very self conscious. I was a big guy which was absolute TABOO among the beautiful LA gays (now it's fetishized even) and I knew that if I was going to do this, that I would unabashedly share my love of all things diverse. Not because it's progressive, but because as an artist I want people to experience the things the things that inspire my heart (and sometimes other parts ha ha) the most.
What would you say to the guys who think "that would never look good on my body" I would encourage that person to DM at once, so I can convince you otherwise. So far I have been commissioned to do work for waist sizes 27 to 48 inches and although I may be biased, every last one of them looked FIRE AF! Having said that, if someone is a bit more modest (much like yours truly) I haven't forgotten how to whip out dope scarves as well Ha! Either way...you're beautiful Betch!
What are some of the things you love most about creating these works of art?
I am a shy and introverted and this platform has given me the greatest venue to connect with people all over the world. 4 years ago this was not even a thought in my head, but I have now had the opportunity to put my gear on a couple of runways, I have been able to use my medium to raise money for some great charities and I have been published in 4 magazines across the globe. This has truly been a dream of an experience that I never knew I had.
I want to thank J.R. for taking time to answer my questions and for creating some fabulous creations for me. If you're interested in commissioning one of his works of art, reach out to him on Instagram.