Last Thursday, global greasy spoon McDonald’s debuted its very own couture line. Yes, you read that correctly. A marketing genius/South Florida franchise owner challenged students at the Miami International University of Art and Design to create runway-worthy pieces using only McDonald’s packaging. The resulting collection, dubbed McDCouture, walked the runway during Miami Swim Week.
The 20-piece collection, which featured styles for both men and women, utilized over 7,000 McDonald’s sandwich wrappers, 2,800 fry boxes, 2,800 straws, 825 soft drink cups, 225 Happy Meal boxes, 2,900 sandwich boxes, 1,000 Sriracha sauce lids and 250 to-go bags. Thankfully, no Super Size Me-like stunts were required — the design students were freely given fresh, unused materials. (McDonald’s: helping us all live in excess.)
Still, there was a silver lining to all the cardboard usage. The student with the most innovative design, Pablo Machado Palomeque, received a $5,000 scholarship care of the Cabrera/Bentancourt organization, which owns 20 golden-arched restaurants in the area and sponsored a similar Miami International University-wide competition in 2015. Palomeque’s look borrowed from two American megabrands. His “McDCouture Angel” featured a whopping 7,000 butterflies made from 1,100 sandwich wrappers.
This is not the first time McDonald’s has invaded a major fashion week. In February of 2009, the fast food vendor joined Mercedes Benz and Mattel in sponsoring New York Fashion Week. McCafé products were dubbed the “official coffee” of NYFW and handed out for free in the tents. Then-the Cut writer Amy Odell speculated that “McDonald’s hopes that by invading our greaseless tented sanctuary of fabulous young women who look at what people like the Olsens are drinking and normally don’t choose McDonald’s, women will get the idea that McDonald’s coffee is the way to go.”
Five years later, for Fall 2014, Jeremy Scott released a McDonald’s-inspired capsule collection featuring Happy Meal box-shaped chain-strap bags, an iPhone case that looked like a large order of fries and various ketchup- and mustard-hued pieces emblazoned with a near-copyright-infringing letter “M.” Fashion girls ate it up. We imagine Mickey D’s appreciated the free advertising.
Click through the slideshow below for highlights from the McDCouture collection. (If you happen to be in the market for actual McDonald’s merch, the company made onesies, slides and sweatsuits to promote its new partnership with UberEats. Beginning tomorrow, June 26, said leisurewear will be available to all those who order McHangoverFood via the delivery app.)
All Images: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for McDonald’s
[ via WWD ]