Julien… brother of Ronald?
Not quite. McDonald’s UK has asked Julien Macdonald to redesign the boxes for McDonald’s Signature Collection, its range of gourmet beef burgers. Macdonald is a fashion industry icon who’s famous for dressing A-list stars including Jennifer Lopez, Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian. He also happens to share the same last name as the fast food giant.
Besides his surname, what’s he got to do with burgers?
1,000 bespoke burger boxes created by the designer and which feature crystal detailing, embellishment and bespoke digital print are being made available at a series of McDonald’s showcase events around the UK. One special box, embellished by Julien himself, was unveiled in McDonald’s flagship Leicester Square restaurant yesterday (Wednesday 23 August), and then will be auctioned to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
It seems like an unlikely partnership. McDonald’s and fashion don’t exactly go hand in hand…
You’d be surprised. McDonald’s uniforms are designed by Waraire Boswell and Bindu Rivas. The former has designed and dressed the likes of LeBron James, Pharrell Williams, Will Smith and Kobe Bryant and says he is very familiar with the “needs and desires” of McDonald’s employees… in fact he used to work at the fast food chain himself before turning to fashion.
I was under the impression that fashionistas don’t actually eat anything…
Nope. In recent years, fashion brands have actually started to feed their customers, opening their own cafes, restaurants and bars. When you think of fashion’s super-skinny models it might seem unlikely, but all the brands are at it with Burberry, Prada, Gucci, Armani, Ralph Lauren and Dior having had food collaborations or opened food outlets. American supermodel Karlie Kloss chose to promote her name not through a fashion line as most celebrities might, but through a line of cookies made in collaboration with Momofuku Milk Bar owner Christina Tosi. There are also big-name fashion and food collaborations that make headlines, such as Alber Elbaz for Ladurée and Armani chocolate.
Are these fashion-food hybrids any good? They say you should stick to what you know…
Some of them are reportedly a bit hit-and-miss, but London’s Dover Street Market is a go-to for fashionistas and foodies alike. People might flock there for its extensive Comme des Garçons products but they also go for the Rose Bakery upstairs. Similarly, Le Plongeoir, Hermès’ in store tea salon and restaurant, is carefully curated as a standalone restaurant, not an afterthought to the store.
So, what does this burger box look like, then?
Well, as you can imagine, it’s pretty glamorous. Emily Somers, vice president of marketing at McDonald’s described the box as “beautiful” and “star studded”, and the designer himself says he took inspiration from the glamorous dresses from the red carpet when creating it. “This was translated into a gold baroque crystal encrusted box, which is the perfect packaging for the luxury McDonald’s Signature Collection burger,” he gushes. Describing them as ‘the embodiment of pure luxury’ is probably pushing it though.