Tesla Tequila and KFC Crocs? Companies Have Lost Their Minds

Branded gear and questionable collabs used to make brands seem desperate—now it’s making them cash

We’re used to taking unlimited Ls on Jordan reissues. We’re used to Supreme drops getting botted and cleaned out within minutes. But we didn’t expect other brands to get in on the action — let alone find success with it. Over on our sibling pub , Adam Bluestein dives into what he calls “Merchmageddon”: a world in which companies responded to the pandemic by unleashing a damn torrent of branded gear and goods. Think Dunkin’ allover-print joggers; Ca$h App brand streetwear; Chicken McNugget-shaped pillows.

Are these the kind of things that would have made companies a laughingstock just a few short years ago? Absolutely. But when you’re talking about a nation of people stuck at home pecking at their phones in a Pavlovian quest for dopamine, apparently scarcity supersedes everything else. As long as the run is small and platforms like StockX are willing to help predatory resellers line their pockets, there’s a sucker willing to splash out on a Stouffer’s mac-and-cheese sweatsuit. Yes, really. The game done changed. If you need us, we’ll be over here weeping into our OG Concord XIs.

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