Taco Bell and Forever 21 are collaborating on a clothing line. Yes, you read that right.
The collection will include items such as tops, bodysuits, cropped hoodies and anoraks in hunger-inspiring prints. They'll be available at select Forever 21 stores and on the retailer's website starting Oct. 11, following an Oct. 10 preview in downtown Los Angeles with a late-night runway show, music from a band supported by Taco Bell's Feed the Beat initiative and, of course, a taco truck.
The seemingly unlikely pairing is only the latest of its kind as food marketers realize the potential in expanding into the closet. This summer we saw the introduction of a KFC Ltd. collection including jewelry, pillowcases, shirts and socks, quickly followed by McDonald's and Uber Eats giving out items including Big Mac onesies and pillowcases to promote delivery. It's not just fast-food chains trying to up their fashion cred. Cheetos has its own line of everything from clothing to pricey jewels, while Kellogg's and State Bicycle Co. rolled out Froot Loops-inspired wheels.
Forever 21 has come under repeated fire for allegations of copycat designs and rip-off style--most recently the retailer was accused of copying the shirt of a young designer raising money for Planned Parenthood. It's unlikely, though, that someone will surface to say they're already selling pink men's sweatshirts emblazoned with taco patches.
And these days it wouldn't be a campaign, especially one aimed at plenty of teens, without a social media tie-in. Fans can submit photos or videos on social with #F21xTacoBell for the chance to see their imagery incorporated into the Oct. 10 runway event. Models will include Brittany Creech and Andrew McBurnie, who cemented their Taco Bell super fan status by posing for senior high school portraits in Taco Bell restaurants.
Edelman said it is the lead agency on the project, working with Deutsch on creative, Digitas on digital/influencers, Spark Foundry on media and United Entertainment Group on experiential work.