Though collaborations between the fast food and apparel industries are nothing new—just see the Forever 21 x Taco Bell team-up of 2017 or Human Made’s 2018 KFC capsule—this past year has certainly kept the trend going.
Earlier this month, McDonald’s offered select customers the opportunity to claim a specially designed beanie and T-shirt as a tie-in with its Mariah Menu, a 12-day holiday season promotion with the “All I Want for Christmas Is You” singer Mariah Carey. To claim the exclusive pieces, customers had to order the Mariah Menu deal of the day on Dec. 15 or Dec. 21 using Mobile Order & Pay and be one of the first approximately 10,000 individuals to claim the special merch item. The beanie featured the singer-songwriter’s iconic signature, while the tee bore a throwback photo of Carey eating a McDonald’s meal. The festive giveaway followed a September team-up with the pop culture-themed specialty retailer BoxLunch. Together, the two released a collection of apparel and bags inspired by the Golden Arches brand, including a Hamburglar hoodie, pajama pants and a Happy Meal-shaped purse.
Around the same time McDonald’s launched its Mariah Menu promotion, 7-Eleven introduced what it dubbed “Kerwin’s Snack Attack Uniform.” Designed by Adidas collaborator Kerwin Frost, the $280 ensemble features a jacket, cargo pants and a T-shirt and includes 18 total pockets—each of which comes stuffed with 7-Eleven snacks. The convenience retailer plans to sell only 500 uniforms.
Pizza Hut unveiled its own holiday apparel last month. Released alongside branded wrapping paper and ornaments, the Christmas sweater-inspired pajama set came in sizes for the whole family.
November also saw the debut of a limited-edition Chipotle collection from the workwear brand Carhartt. The co-branded collection included a custom apron, jacket, hat and patches. Profits will be donated to organizations like the National Young Farmers Coalition with initiatives focused on supporting young farmers and “making apparel and food more sustainable,” Chipotle said.
From October to November, Popeyes released three apparel mini-collections with this year’s Best New Artist Grammy winner, Megan Thee Stallion. Timed to the launch of the chicken chain’s Megan The Stallion Hottie Sauce, the first capsule dropped Oct. 19 and included bikinis, long-sleeve shirts and hats, as well as tumblers and chicken tender dog toys. The last two collections followed in November and introduced a sweatsuit, denim jacket and hoodie. As part of the pair’s larger collaboration, Popeyes said it made a “six-figure” donation to Houston Random Acts of Kindness.
In October, Burger King partnered with fashion designer Kate Eary to release 100 limited-edition button-down shirts. Designed to hide messy drips, “The Fall Collection” featured a print inspired by the innards of the fast-food chain’s signature Whopper burger. Burger King distributed the silk tops in a prize drawing for anyone who purchased The Argentinian or The Steakhouse burger via the chain’s U.K. app.
Puma celebrated White Castle’s 100th birthday in June by releasing its classic Suede and Future Rider sneakers in the iconic burger joint’s blue-and-white color palette. Alongside the two shoes, Puma also released a small collection of apparel, which included a hoodie, co-branded shorts and an assortment of graphic tees.