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McDonald’s goes haute couture with designer uniforms

Iman Sheikh
Courtesy McDonald’s

Just weeks after McDonald’s Australia announced it wanted job applications via SnapChat, the U.S. branch of the fast-good giant revealed that the outfits of approximately 850,000 McDonald’s restaurant employees were getting a designer makeover. In fact, they’re getting two.

In collaboration with designers Waraire Boswell and Bindu Rivas, McDonald’s USA crewmembers will get to choose between two contemporary uniform collections: WARAIRE for McDonald’s and Timeless Elements, for crew members and managers. These new collections, scheduled to debut in the U.S. in April, will be available to all 14,000 restaurants.

Lovin’ that drive-thru life

The monochromatic grey on grey uniforms are a departure from the bright colours traditionally worn by restaurant staff. Celebrity outfitter Boswell, whose clients include Will Smith, Ellen DeGeneres, Pharrell Williams, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant among others, has said that as a former McDonald’s crew member in Pasadena, Calif., he understands the need for clothing that employees feel comfortable wearing outside of work too.

The decidedly hipster overhaul will include a convertible denim apron, a “new signature piece,” which can be worn full or as a half apron only from the waist down.

Close-up of one of the new shirts

“We knew that McDonald’s restaurant employees wanted something that bridges the gap between fashion and function,” British Indian designer Bindu Rivas, who worked on the Timeless Elements collection, has said in a press release.

Not everyone is a fan though, with some blogs likening the uniforms to scenes from the dystopian sci-fi film Logan’s Run and The Hunger Games. 

“Mandatory gray-on-gray with a dash of black is pretty much universally recognized as the standard uniform for bleakest of futures,” one writer says.

Here’s the full lineup