Crocs launched its inaugural collaboration with McDonald’s China in the mainland yesterday, featuring a series of creative items including shoes, stockings, and Jibbitz charms. The products’ designs reference Crocs’ classic slippers and clogs, as well as McDonald’s iconic characters, like Milkshake Brother, Birdie, and Burger Thief.
McDonald’s China will unveil an offline pop-up store at the Shenzhen Happy Coast drive-thru McDonald’s restaurant from tomorrow to Sunday. Consumers can purchase the Crocs x McDonald’s China products and interact with the featured McDonald’s characters at the pop-up.
Driven by social media and meme culture, loyal Chinese fans of McDonald’s and Crocs have earned the nicknames maimen (麦门) and dongmen (洞门), respectively, meaning devotees of McDonald’s and clogs. Numerous casualwear brands have jumped on the clogcore trend, positioning Crocs at the center of a cultural phenomenon. In a clear indication of the popularity of clogs, the “McDonald’s x Crocs Collab” hashtag amassed 10.5 million views on Weibo within three days.
In China, McDonald’s is no longer just a metaphor for Western pop culture. It has evolved in tandem with local youth culture, thanks to the fast food chain’s localization strategy.
Prior to the tie-up with Crocs, McDonald’s China collaborated with fashion labels including Alexander Wang, Adidas, and Clot. The partnership with Clot, rolled out in March this year, resulted in the Clot x McSpicy collection, which generated significant buzz on social media given the two parties’ popularity among young Chinese consumers.
It is unsurprising that Crocs picked McDonald’s China as a collaboration partner. The footwear company has grown rapidly after the pandemic due to its creativity and relevance, achieved via designer and pop culture collabs.
On Xiaohongshu, topics related to “Crocs” and “dongmen” (洞门) have accumulated more than 432.3 million and 60.9 million views, respectively, with the slang term “joining in dongmen” (加入洞门) perceived as a proud lifestyle choice by devotees.
The McDonald’s x Crocs collab is not another random crossover between food and fashion; rather, it is an acknowledgement of belonging and community for both brands’ followers, as well as a vehicle for Crocs to enrich its brand storytelling.