- KFC and Crocs teamed on a collaborative line of limited-edition, fried chicken-themed clogs, according to a news release.
- The companies are producing two pieces of footwear: An "avant-garde" Kentucky Fried Chicken X Crocs Bucket Clog with high platform heels that are based on KFC's meal buckets, and a more standard Classic Clog. The Kentucky Fried Chicken X Crocs Classic Clog features a flatter, red and white heel nodding to KFC's branding, a fried chicken print and two scented drumstick attachments created by Jibbitz, the maker of charms for Crocs.
- The Bucket Clog debuted at New York Fashion Week on Feb. 11, with artist Me Love Me a Lot (MLMA) showing off the gear. It is not available to purchase. The Classic Clog will be more widely available starting in the spring. Consumers can enter their contact information on Crocs' website to receive notifications for when the footwear, which retails for $60 and is available in unisex sizes, goes live.
KFC is attempting to further its position as an off-the-wall lifestyle brand with the Crocs collaboration. Crocs, once denigrated as a fashion faux pas for its distinct chunky foam clogs, has become more desirable among cultural taste makers. The footwear marketer has in recent years successfully collaborated with high fashion houses like Christopher Kane and Balenciaga and partnered with popular artists such as Post Malone, per Highsnobiety.
By debuting the avant-garde platform clogs at New York Fashion Week, KFC and Crocs are clearly looking to capture some of the buzz around a closely-watched event that tends to set style trends for the year. The brands have also introduced an influencer marketing component by working with MLMA, an artist with more than 1.2 million Instagram followers. In a promotional video for the collaboration, MLMA uses tongs to remove both pairs of Crocs from a deep fryer.
Making the less showy version of the chicken-themed footwear available to purchase falls in line with prior e-commerce stunts from KFC. In 2018, the Yum Brands-owned chain linked up with Japanese designer Nigo, best known for his work with A Bathing Ape (Bape), on a line of clothing that included racing jackets, hoodies and T-shirts, with some items selling for as much as $375. The apparel, targeted at the "finger linckin' hypebeasts of the world," were hawked at a New York City pop-up and online through HBX.com.
The Crocs tie-up comes as KFC experiences some adjustments to its internal marketing roster. The brand recently saw the departures of Global Marketing Director George Felix and Director of Marketing Strategy and Innovation David Graves, who shifted to sister Yum Brands chain Pizza Hut as CMO and chief brand officer, respectively. Pizza Hut has lagged behind its siblings KFC and Taco Bell on the performance front, and is now looking to better capture some of their marketing mojo with the executive shuffle. KFC U.S. President Kevin Hochman is also acting as Pizza Hut's interim president as part of the switch up announced around Yum Brands' Q4 earnings report last week.