What McDonald’s Means to Opening Ceremony Co-Founder Humberto Leon
February 08, 2022
To call Opening Ceremony co-founder Humberto Leon a McDonald's enthusiast may be a bit of an understatement.
His relationship with the McDonald’s brand began in his early childhood, when his family immigrated to the United States from Peru. To his family, McDonald’s represented all that was “quintessentially American,” Humberto says.
“Coming to America was a big shock to my family,” he explains. "We had a desire to figure out what it meant to be American, to try American food, to celebrate American holidays.”
One of Humberto’s earliest memories is a childhood birthday party at a McDonald’s restaurant in Pasadena, California. “I remember my mom working really, really hard to give me a McDonald’s birthday party. I have such fond memories of that day... it was so special at the time.”
Humberto now shares his love of McDonald’s with his twin daughters. “I treat the experience the same way I did growing up. Going to McDonald’s is a special occasion that we really enjoy.”
What’s his order these days? “I’m a huge fan of the Big Mac, huge fan of the Filet-O-Fish, I start every McDonald’s meal with a Chicken McNugget appetizer,” Humberto says. “I always put some fries inside of my Big Mac.”
McDonald’s Lunar New Year Collaboration
This year, Humberto combined his cultural traditions with his love for the Golden Arches and created McDonald's Hall of Zodiacs: 2022 Lunar New Year with Humberto Leon. Set in the metaverse, this immersive, interactive experience allows fans to virtually visit a gallery hosting Humberto’s work. While there, fans can take in his zodiacs and receive horoscope readings that give foresight into their year ahead, based on birth year and zodiac animal. Humberto also designed Year of the Tiger merchandise and red envelopes for customers at select McDonald’s restaurants.
Humberto hopes this Lunar New Year collaboration will shine a light on a holiday many Asian American families celebrate every year.
“Celebrating Lunar New Year with my family is something we really look forward to, but it has always been a very private experience,” Humberto says. His McDonald’s collaboration brings the celebration, and its traditions, to the public. Plus – his designs are amazing.
“I wanted my designs to have a pop sensibility, to feel very joyful,” he says. “This was an opportunity to do something beautiful, interesting and cool – and also fun.”