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One-Time Crocs Collaborator KFC Drops Jack Harlow Merch

No stranger to courting consumers with collaborations keyed into the cultural zeitgeist, KFC paired a celebrity-fronted menu update with limited-edition merch.

The chicken-centric chain, which previously teamed with Crocs for NYFW footwear, debuted a new meal with rapper Jack Harlow. On June 30, KFC rolled out a selection of hoodies, hats, T-shirts and crewnecks commemorating its collab with the Kentucky-native “What’s Poppin” chart-topper, who boasts 6.7 million Instagram followers and more than 74 million likes on TikTok.

The five-item Jack Harlow x KFC merchandise collection includes the ‘Recipe Hoodie’, the ‘Jack Portrait Hat’, the ‘Chicken Right’ tee, the ‘Recipe Tee’ and the ‘Portrait Crewneck,’ available for pre-order in black and white color ways through Harlow’s website for $35-$75. The collection will go on sale on Aug. 5.

Fast food offers a compelling medium through which brands can speak to consumers tapped into what’s new and hot. Puma last year released sneakers with burger chain White Castle. Just months before the pandemic, Foot Locker created a fast-food popup nodding to the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls’ long-running rivalry.

Popeyes x Megan Thee Stallion
Popeyes x Megan Thee Stallion Courtesy

Still, celebrity partners can help quick-service eateries move merch that keeps their brands at the forefront of consumer consciousness and turns fans into walking billboards. McDonald’s has created apparel and accessories with Mariah Carey and Travis Scott, the latter of which sold out almost immediately after launching.

Popeyes, a similarly fried-chicken-focused restaurant, tapped rapper Megan Thee Stallion last fall to come up with a new ‘Hottie Sauce’ and a selection of related merch including flame-decorated bikinis, hats, dog toys and graphic T-shirts with the word “saucy” on the front.

Sami Siddiqui, president of Popeyes Americas, said the company plans “three new lines of merchandise designed by Megan to capture” the “Hot Girl Summer” hit-maker’s “one-of-a-kind style.”