Only one fast food restaurant could effortlessly go from Harold and Kumar to high fashion in a decade, and its name is White Castle. America’s oldest restaurant chain is usually known for their small, square hamburgers, but that’s all changing one uniform at a time thanks to Telfar Clemens.
The Queens-based designer and CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist, whose brand Telfar has lit up the runway season after season, is already known as White Castle's biggest fan thanks to his insane Fashion Week after parties held at the fast food chain’s Times Square location, but he’s taken his love to another level. Throughout September, a new work uniform designed by Telfar is being distributed to all 400 White Castle locations. It’s a gag-worthy move for the designer and, for the fast food business, it’s major. Not only is a fashion house remaking the work uniforms for a fast food chain, but that label is a queer, genderless, Black-owned business.
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To mark the historic partnership, Telfar teamed with reclusive artist Jayson Keeling to take portraits of White Castle employees throughout New York—including the Queens location that Telfar has eaten at his whole life and still lives across the street from. Keeling shot employees with their families, on their commutes, and at their go-to spots around the city to unwind for an unforgettable and personal tribute to the new, high fashion White Castle uniforms.
Photos Courtesy of Jayson Keeling