29 November 2022

Fast food fashion: McDonald’s and VAIN come together for the collab of the year

The golden arches are fashion's newfound muse, and we’re lovin’ it. HUNGER explores the new VAIN X McDonald's collab, and looks at the brand's historic collections.

The idea of McDonald’s unites everyone, and in fashion, brings forth that ultimate high-low culture that luxury is obsessed with, in a particularly camp way. It’s recognisable, it’s universal, it’s… making us hungry.

This week, Helsinki-based fashion label VAIN released a collaboration with McDonald’s. Using the classic uniform, they reimagined staple workwear, with Creative Director Jimi Vain stating in the press release that “growing up in a very rural part of Finland, there weren’t really any dedicated spaces for us to hang out as teenagers. The local McDonald’s sort of fulfilled that function for us.”

Though you may not think it, the 99p chicken burger kingdom has always been a fashion muse. Famed for its inspo to super camp Moschino, designer Jeremy Scott dipped into the classic red and yellow company colours in 2014, with his silhouettes inspired by the uniform and mini Happy Meal bags carried down the runway on trays. Cult-fave Vetements hosted their SS20 menswear show in a Parisian McDonald’s, the Champs-Élysées branch to be exact. Creative Director at the time, Demna Gvasali, sent models down the runway eating the salty fries, aptly writing the show notes on napkins.

McDonald’s isn’t shy of their own influence either, releasing their fashion merch ‘Golden Arches Unlimited’ in 2019. Big Mac wristlet bag anyone? McD’s have gone on to partner with celebs like BTS, J Balvin and Travis Scott, with the latter selling out of meals completely. This year streetwear brand Cactus Flea Market X McDonald’s also released their joint merch detailing graphic imagery and quippy slogans (‘I came, I saw, I dipped’). It was only a matter of time before we all jumped on the bandwagon, right?

This time however, the bandwagon looks a bit different. VAIN makes its new pieces seem fresher than the fries we saw before, and goes through high meets low to its own valley of golden goodness. The combination of logos is even a perfect match; uniting the ‘M’ to a ‘V’ to make an SMS-inspired heart. Completely upcycled, it is a considered collection that utilises old workwear, which then keeps the pieces nostalgic with the likes of their top-button done-up managerial shirt and double breasted A-line cut black apron.

The whole collection feels like it could dress a new Netflix series about McDonald’s employee rejects in a car park in rural America — and we would definitely be watching. The cherry on top of the sundae though, has to be the McDonald’s biker jacket with a belt-tastic mini skirt and the double belted fitted worker-style jacket, embossed with the double ‘M’ logo on each buckle. 

Want to get your hands on the collection? Tough luck, it’s a Maccies Monopoly for who will receive the pieces, as Jimmy Vain puts all 13 looks and 27 pieces in a McDonald’s Finland employee company raffle.

  • Writer Ella Chadwick
  • Banner Image Credit VAIN on Instagram

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