McDonald's Wants Hip New Uniform

McDonald's Logo, Golden Arches
McDonald's Corp. is seeking a high-profile fashion designer to give its 300,000 U.S. restaurant workers a trendy, stylish new look.

The nation's largest fast food chain says Tommy Hilfiger and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs are among its top choices to design new employee uniforms.

"It's about taking the contemporary look and feel of our restaurants and embodied in our advertising and incorporating that into our employees' business attire," McDonald's spokesman Bill Whitman said Tuesday. "The desire is to create uniforms that our crews would want to wear outside the restaurant environment."

Whitman said the company has not yet chosen any designers. New York brand consultant Steve Stoute said possible candidates include Russell Simmons' "Phat Farm" label, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, American Eagle and P. Diddy's Sean John label.

Currently, McDonald's uniforms vary among its franchises nationwide, but recent styles include a white "business style" collared shirt with small breast pocket, dark polyester pants and a belt, he said.

The uniform plan is an extension of McDonald's ongoing effort to shape its image as a hip, active brand. Healthier menu options and upgrading about 1,000, mostly older U.S. restaurants has helped McDonald's grow same-store sales 25 consecutive months in the key U.S. market.

Stoute, who originally was hired to help launch the "I'm lovin' it" campaign in 2003, recruited singer Justin Timberlake to promote McDonald's.

Advertising Age first reported the uniform effort on its Web site.