Would You Like Fries With That Shirt?

As Americans celebrate Labor Day, it’s a time to relax from work, lie by the pool and throw some burgers and chicken legs on the grill, all while wearing fashions that reflect those barbecue choices.

Wait, what was that last part?

Believe it or not, food is making its way further into fashion than ever before, with everything from pizza to tacos emblazoning purses, dresses, shirts and shoes. The trend has caught the attention of restaurant chains, which seem to also want a piece of the action, rolling out their own fashion statements that bring together the worlds of cuisine and couture.

KFC Sells Out – Of Merchandise

Some onlookers might think a restaurant brand is “selling out” by slapping its logo on a variety of items, but the reality is that these eatery-themed fashions have been a hit for many chains. When KFC released its KFC Limited line of apparel and other items in July, it may have seemed out of place to see the chicken giant hawking Colonel Sanders-themed pillowcases and chicken leg-emblazoned pocket squares, but the company swiftly sold out of many of its fashionable items.

A Sept. 1 perusal of the company’s fashion offerings revealed that KFC had already sold out of more than 20 of its products, including a shirt announcing “World’s No. 1 Chicken Salesman” and socks embroidered with images of chicken legs. Fortunately for chicken-loving fans, many more items remain available, including a shirt printed to look like the Colonel’s iconic suit.

McDonald’s Brings Arches To Fashion

McDonald’s has seen several iterations of its iconic Golden Arches brought to the fashion world. For instance, in June, the burger giant teamed up with Japanese apparel firm Beams to release a fashion line that included hats, shirts, bags and phone cases. McDonald’s brought its fashion sense stateside in July, debuting a limited-edition line of apparel that the company planned to give away to customers who used UberEATS to order McDonald’s deliveries.

The Big Mac-themed fashion line, dubbed the “McDelivery Collection,” featured sweatshirts, sandals, T-shirts, blankets and other items, Food & Wine reported. The fast food firm didn’t reveal whether the line would be extended beyond the initial UberEATS promotion, but the company did forge another collaboration even more recently that brought its food into the haute couture realm.

In August, McDonald’s commissioned U.K.-based fashion designer Julien Macdonald to design a luxury burger box, and the resulting line of 1,000 Big Mac-sized containers will be auctioned to benefit the Ronald McDonald House, according to Mashable. “I drew inspiration from my fashion creations and iconic embellished red-carpet dresses,” Macdonald told WWD. “This was translated into a gold, baroque, crystal-encrusted box, which is the perfect packaging for the luxury McDonald’s collection.”

Wear Your Favorite Menu Item

Other restaurant brands are also getting in on the fashion trend, and doughnut chain Krispy Kreme has an entire website dedicated to its line of apparel, drink ware, accessories and hats. Among the offerings are an ‘Original Glazed” T-shirt and a baby bib announcing “Big Doughnut Fan.”

Taco Bell is also attracting fans with its Taco Collection, which features such options as a “Live Mas” earbud holder and taco-themed hoodies.

So what does all this mean? It could be a passing trend, but it may also mean that food-based fashion makes its way onto runways at Fashion Week eventually. If Jeremy Scott's donut bracelets were any indication, it could be here faster than anyone can imagine.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.