The fashion world was confused and delighted when Jeremy Scott delivered a cheerful McDonald's themed collection during Milan Fashion Week. But the fast food chain has not been so quick to embrace the high-fashion homage. It turns out that McDonald's workers are offended by the Moschino Fall 2014 collection, and with good reason.
While the runway collection was intended as a quirky tribute to iconic American brands, McDonald's workers see it as a mockery. "One knowing how it is to work at McDonald's knows there is nothing fashionable about it," a former McDonald's worker, Mia Brusendorff, told the Daily Mail. She also finds it insulting that people would pay thousands of dollars for clothing inspired by the uniforms of workers who make minimum wage.
Scott's collection, his first for Moschino, featured iconography from other classic American brands such as SpongeBob SquarePants, but the Golden Arches took center stage on sweatshirts, shoes, visors, and a Happy Meal-inspired quilted purse. The fashion world ate it up, hard. Several celebrities and style stars — Katy Perry and Anna Della Russo, to name a few — have already sported the Moschino-fied McDonald's wears on magazine covers and at events.
All of this fanfare is an affront to the people who work at McDonald's, who are quite often struggling to make ends meet. An anonymous worker told the Daily Mail:
"I know the poor environment a minimum wage employee works in, and for people working in the highly paid fashion world to think it's 'trendy' to wear clothes inspired by the uniforms we put on every day to feed our kids, or to buy a designer bag that is a parody of the meals we serve to earn enough money just to pay our bills; well, it just makes me sad," she said, adding: "I couldn't buy one of these Moschino purses even if I wanted to."
In that stark light, Scott's collection doesn't seem so cheerful anymore. Fashion fans may view collections like these as all in good fun, but a thousand-plus dollar Happy Meal purse does ignore the reality of the situation of these workers who live on minimum wage.
Because the fashion world inhales quirkiness faster than you can say "double cheeseburger," these clothes are bound to be everywhere in the coming months. But maybe we should think twice about the message the appropriation of a brand label sends. Unfortunately for Scott, you can't simply borrow the logo of a company without also borrowing the associations that come along with it.