KFC steps into streetwear with collection from famed Japanese designer Nigo
- KFC is collaborating with Japanese fashion designer Nigo on a collection of fried chicken-themed streetwear for the "fashionable, finger lickin' hypebeasts of the world," according to a news release.
- Hypemaker, the global creative studio of Hypebeast, worked with Nigo to create the Human Made x KFC Capsule Collection, a KFC spin on Nigo's Human Made brand. The collection consists of a Colonel shop jacket, '70s-style racing jacket, hoodies, T-shirts and other items that range in price from $20 to $375. Nigo visited the KFC headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, for design inspiration.
- Fans can purchase the collection at a pop-up shopping experience on Nov. 16 at a KFC location in Manhattan, where Nigo will make an appearance. A limited number of items will also be available at HBX.com on Nov. 23 and at the Human Made store in Tokyo. KFC teased the collaboration in videos last week.
KFC's partnership with Nigo could be a hit with younger consumers, who are leading a streetwear trend in the retail category. Streetwear brands, like Supreme or A Bathing Ape, tend to use limited-edition collection drops at only a handful of locations to add to items' value and exclusivity — a strategy KFC and Nigo are emulating with their pop-up experience in Manhattan.
Other marketers outside of the apparel space have tried to leverage the popularity of streetwear in their favor. The Swedish retail giant Ikea in June debuted a collaborative line called Spanst that included minimalist hoodies, T-shirts and hats. Pepsi sold a clothing capsule collection in April as an extension of its #LoveItLiveIt campaign that included collaborations with brands like New Era, Umbro, Le Specs and others. Fast-food brands, including McDonald's and Taco Bell, have previously tapped into the trend as well.
The Nigo collaboration breaks a little with KFC's previous approach to apparel offerings. The chain has sold limited-run goods through its own e-commerce store before, including for the holidays last year, but is instead leveraging third-party partners like Hypemaker in a potential bid to boost credibility with streetwear fans, who can be picky.
The approach could help the brand connect with younger consumers, who appear to be driving a resurgence in interest for fast food. Unlike millennials, who often shun fast food in favor of healthier options, Gen Zers seem to be embracing it. The generation is about 20% more likely to visit a fast-food spot than other generations, according to recent research from Foursquare and Carat.