Fast fashion retailer Forever 21’s recent collaboration with fast food favorite Taco Bell might sound strange. However, it’s actually, as the brand might say, loaded with logic.
From mini-backpacks to My Little Pony polish, 2017 has been all about nostalgia, tapping into consumers’ craving for comfort. Forever 21 has already appealed to shoppers with repurposed vintage clothing and psuedo-bootleg designer collections. Its Taco Bell collection builds on that throwback trend.
Taco Bell is one of the top three display advertising spenders in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants, reflecting the brand’s understanding that their audience spends a lot of time on the internet. The brand’s innovative campaigns include the Taco Emoji Campaign on Twitter and the Taco Bell Weddings Campaign, which recently extended into digital. The campaigns, which tack on to trends like the digital emoji craze, also demonstrate the brand’s ability to spice up what might otherwise be another fast food joint with a decaying and dated social presence.
Neither brand has shied away from risk. Taco Bell developed several products in collaboration with junk food icon Doritos, a bold way to tap into the snack’s cult following. Similarly, Forever 21 launches so many just-kitschy-enough designer dupes that it often becomes the focus of lawsuits for trademark infringement.
The pair-up is not the first to make fast food fashion: Italian luxury brand Moschino famously churned out McDonald’s memorabilia for up to $1200. But it is the first to make fast food fashion as affordable as its inspiration. The collaboration, which features ’80s-inspired metallic bomber jackets and logo-plastered hoodies, rings in at less than $25 per item and embodies what both brands do best: comfort.